EastGroup Properties’ profit rises in first quarter of 2012

JACKSON — EastGroup Properties’ profit rose in the first quarter, but not as much as analysts expected.

The real estate investment trust said Thursday that quarterly profit rose to $5.4 million, or 20 cents per share. That’s up 13 percent from $4.8 million, or 18 cents per share, in year-ago quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted 23 cents per share, on average.

Quarterly revenue rose 8 percent to $46.8 million. Analysts had expected $45.1 million.

EastGroup said it is building a new warehouse in Orlando, Fla., one of eight under construction. It also said it paid $2.7 million for land in Tampa, Fla., and near Phoenix.

The company bought one warehouse in Tampa for $3.5 million in January and sold two there in February for $578,000.

Occupancy rose to 94 percent.

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