Downtown-headquartered real estate investment firm Colony Capital Inc. reported net losses of $555 million, or $1.16 per share, in the third quarter compared to a loss of $70 million in the same quarter last year.

The firm’s funds from operations were also down year over year at $0.19 per share, versus $0.20 in the third quarter of 2018, but they beat analyst expectations that had predicted $0.15 per share.

The company announced a third-quarter 2019 dividend of $0.11 per share to holders of Class A and B common stock.

Colony Capital attributed much of the losses to a reduction in goodwill pending the sale of its industrial investment management business and related real estate portfolio. The $5.7 billion portfolio includes 450 light industrial buildings across 26 U.S. markets.

The sale is intended to raise money to help offset the company’s ongoing losses.

Colony Capital has faced a difficult period since purchasing NorthStar Asset Management Group and real estate investment trust NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. in early 2017. The move increased Colony’s portfolio to include office, industrial, health care and other assets.

Due in part to inherited property-level issues, these new additions to Colony’s traditional real estate credit and funds management businesses became a burden on the firm. The company’s stock fell from $15.84 on the day it merged with the NorthStar acquisitions to $5.00 at market close on Nov. 8.

In September, Colony announced a new strategy designed to help change the company’s fortunes. The plan, dubbed “Colony Capital 2.0,” will shift the firm’s emphasis to digital real estate investments such as data centers and communication towers.

Colony Capital’s presentation materials for the new strategy described it as, “not just entail(ing) a shift in business strategy, but a shift in mindset and culture.”

Banking and finance reporter James B. Cutchin can be reached at jcutchin@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8332. Follow him on Twitter @jamesbcutchin.

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