Macerich Co. said Tuesday that its earnings and fourth-quarter funds from operations were up thanks in part to higher rent and tenant recoveries.

The Santa Monica-based real estate investment trust, which develops and operates shopping malls, said that FFO for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 6.4 percent to $133 million ($1.45 per share). The results fell just short of Wall Street's estimates of $1.48 per share, according to Thomson Financial.

Net income for the period slid to $38.4 million (53 cents per share), compared with $148 million ($1.98 per share) from the same period a year earlier. However, the 2006 quarter included gains on asset sales of $133 million. Revenue was up 5 percent to $245 million.

Real estate investment trusts use FFO when reporting earnings because it accounts for depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as other non-operating items. Driving the increase was a 4.4 percent rise in minimum rents to $141 million, and a slight increase in tenant recoveries to $15.2 million.

Shares in Macerich were up 2 percent to $64.59 in afternoon trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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