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REIT Replay: Strong finish

REITs and the broader markets pushed higher Friday, May 6, as CatchMark announced a $101.8 milliondeal to acquire prime timberlands in South Carolina.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) jumped 1.07% to close at 1,181.77,and the SNL US REIT Equity Index added 0.95%, closing at 314.55. The Dow Jones IndustrialAverage rose 0.45% to close at 17,740.63, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.32% toend the week at 2,057.14.

CatchMark TimberTrust Inc. is adding 51,700 acres of prime timberlands in South Carolinato its South portfolio with the planned acquisition of the Carolinas Midlands IIItimberlands.

The timber REIT said it agreed to pay $101.8 million, excludingclosing costs, to acquirethe timberlands from funds managed by Forest Investment Associates. The transactionis poised to be the company's single largest acquisition since it the NYSE in late 2013.

Additionally, the company raised its second-quarter dividend by 8% to 13.5 cents pershare, which will be paid June 16 to stockholders of record May 27.

CatchMark shares popped 3.69% to close at $10.96 per share.

Citing city property records, The Real Deal reported that VornadoRealty Trust landeda $60 million loan to refinance three retail units in the 109,000-square-foot at 11 E. 68th St. in Manhattan,N.Y.'s Upper East Side. The office REIT obtained the loan from German lender Dekabank.

Vornado shares rose 0.62% to close at $95.85.

In earnings, BrookfieldProperty Partners LP postedhigher year-over-year FFO for the first quarter, driven by increased NOI from recentlysigned office leases, strong performance in its core retail business and 2015 investments.

Weyerhaeuser Co.reported a decline inits first-quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders, which fell to$70 million, or 11 cents per share, from $90 million, or 17 cents per share, inthe same period a year earlier.

Brookfield Property shares ticked 0.03% higher to close at C$30.90,and Weyerhaeuser shares popped 0.22%, closing at $31.61.

In capital offerings, PreferredApartment Communities Inc. registereda base prospectus for the sale of up to $300.0 million of its securities and a salesagreement prospectus for the sale of up to $150.0 million of its common stock inat-the-market offerings from time to time. The multifamily REIT said that any netproceeds from either offering will be used in part for general corporate purposes.

Also, the company liftedits second-quarter dividend to 20.25 cents per common share, which equates to a1-cent-per-share boost, or about 5.2%, over the first-quarter payout of 19.25 centsper share. It will pay the dividend July 15 to all common stockholders of recordas of June 15.

Preferred Apartment shares surged 5.17% to close at $13.64.

In dividend news, MarriottInternational Inc.'s board boostedthe company's quarterly dividend by 20%, to 30 cents per share from 25 cents pershare, which is payable June 30 to shareholders of record May 20.

Marriott shares inched 0.07% lower to $69.22.

In executive moves, Simon Misselbrook is stepping down as CFO and treasurer of Cole Office & Industrial REIT Inc., , and Cole Real Estate Income Strategy(Daily NAV) Inc., effective May 30.

If a successor has not been named by May 30, CFO Michael Bartolotta is ontap to serve as interim principal financial officer at the companies, accordingto separate filings.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Rich Moore upgraded to "outperform" from"sector perform" and increased his price target on the company's stockto $87 from $82.

The analyst said in a note that the regional mall REIT has underperformedyear-to-date, making the company's shares "increasingly attractive." Theupgrade is also driven in part by Macerich's continued effort to improve its operationsand portfolio through noncore assetsales, as well as management's commitment to deliver on its chosen strategy,the analyst said.

Macerich shares gained 1.73%, closing at $80.15.

In a separate note, Moore lowered his rating on to "underperform"from "sector perform." He also decreased his price target on the company'sstock to $130 from $136.

The analyst posited that investors should hold off for a "betterentry point," given the stock's currently "high" valuation that hebelieves does not reflect the company's "increasingly challenged" story.Moore, in particular, noted that Federal's results are likely to be dragged downby near-term tenant bankruptcies and unanticipated supply in its big developmentmarkets.

Federal Realty shares put on 0.32% to close at $157.56.

Now featured

The Week in USReal Estate: Weyerhaeuser scores $2.2B pulp mill divestment deal; New York REITback on M&A rumor mill: The May 6 weekly news roundup in the NorthAmerican real estate space also features major timberland transactions, a big-buckhotel sales deal reportedly in the offing and a handful of deal closings on theM&A front.

The Guidance Report:This roundup of recent guidance from real estate companies includes updates fromNational Health Investors, DiamondRock Hospitality and Care Capital.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, editors' picks: Our real estate editors' picks for the beststories of the week ending May 6.

Best of SNL: RealEstate, most read: The 10 most read real estate articles for the weekending May 6.

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