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REIT Replay: Markets gain ground, REITs close lower

The broader markets extended their gains Wednesday, Feb. 14, as a key reading of inflation indicated the strongest monthly rise in five months. Real estate investment trusts, however, closed in the red.

Federal Realty Investment Trust's 2017 fourth-quarter funds from operations per share fell year over year to $1.30 from $1.45. For the full year 2017, the shopping center REIT's FFO per share rose to $5.74 from $5.65 a year ago.

Federal Realty shares rose 0.51% to end the day at $110.82.

RLJ Lodging Trust activist shareholder Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC intends to submit a slate of director candidates for election at the hotel REIT's 2018 annual meeting. Land & Buildings founder and Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Litt said in a letter to other RLJ shareholders that the appointment of Robert McCarthy to RLJ's board is a "self-preservation" move that disenfranchises shareholders.

Shares of RLJ Lodging gained 1.11%, closing at $21.85.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, Bluerock Residential Growth REIT Inc. and Franklin Street Properties Corp. outlined their earnings expectations for 2018.

Regional mall landlord Pennsylvania REIT expects FFO per share in a range of $1.50 to $1.60, while apartment-focused REIT Bluerock Residential expects adjusted FFO per share between 65 cents and 70 cents. Office REIT Franklin Street expects FFO per share in a range of 96 cents to $1.00.

Pennsylvania REIT shares fell 0.70% to close at $9.92; Bluerock Residential shares climbed 1.62% to close at $7.51; and Franklin Street shares plunged 10.28% to close at $8.55.

Manufactured home-focused residential REIT Sun Communities Inc.'s board increased the company's annual distribution by 6% to $2.84 per common share.

Shares of Sun Communities declined 0.84% to close at $85.02.

Residential landlord Killam Apartment REIT's board declared an annual distribution of 64 Canadian cents per unit, up from its previous payout of 62 cents per unit.

Killam Apartment shares added 2.22% to close at C$13.35.

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Corporate optimism could boost 2018 business travel, Hilton CEO says: "It's hard to find somebody that is in business that's not more optimistic right now" than they were a year or six months ago, the executive said on a conference call.

Anbang not planning Waldorf Astoria sale, Hilton CEO says: On an earnings conference call, executives also declined to comment on reports that HNA Group, another large Chinese investor and one of Hilton's largest shareholders, is seeking to sell assets.

National Retail Properties brushes off tenant troubles: The company was able to re-lease stores vacated by Gander Mountain to Camping World, executives noted on the company's fourth-quarter 2017 earnings call.

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Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.