|FOREST CITY REALTY TRUST, INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 10/30/2018|
Funds From Operations (“FFO”), a non-GAAP measure, along with net earnings, provides an investor important information about our core operations. While property dispositions, acquisitions or other factors impact net earnings in the short-term, we believe FFO presents a consistent view of the overall financial performance of our business from period-to-period since the core of our business is the recurring operations of our portfolio of real estate assets. Management believes that the exclusion of gains and losses from the sale of operating real estate assets from FFO allows investors and analysts to readily identify the operating results of the Company’s core assets and assists in comparing those operating results between periods. Implicit in historical cost accounting for real estate assets in accordance with GAAP is the assumption that the value of real estate assets diminishes ratably over time. Since real estate values have historically risen or fallen with market conditions, many real estate investors and analysts have considered presentations of operating results for real estate companies using historical cost accounting alone to be insufficient. Because FFO excludes depreciation and amortization of real estate assets and impairment of depreciable real estate, management believes that FFO, along with the required GAAP presentations, provides another measurement of the Company’s performance relative to its peers and an additional basis on which to make decisions involving operating, financing and investing activities than the required GAAP presentations alone would provide.
FFO is defined by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”) as net earnings excluding the following items at our ownership: i) gain (loss) on full or partial disposition of rental properties, divisions and other investments (net of tax); ii) gains or losses on change in control of interests; iii) non-cash charges for real estate depreciation and amortization; iv) impairment of depreciable real estate (net of tax); and v) cumulative or retrospective effect of change in accounting principle (net of tax).
Operating FFO, a non-GAAP measure, is an additional measure an investor may use to evaluate our operating performance. We believe it is appropriate to adjust FFO for significant items driven by transactional activity and factors relating to the financial and real estate markets, rather than factors specific to the on-going operating performance of our properties. We use Operating FFO as an indicator of continuing operating results in planning and executing our business strategy. Operating FFO should not be considered to be an alternative to net earnings computed under GAAP as an indicator of our operating performance and may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
We define Operating FFO as FFO adjusted to exclude: i) impairment of non-depreciable real estate; ii) write-offs of abandoned development projects and demolition costs; iii) income recognized on state and federal historic and other tax credits; iv) gains or losses from extinguishment of debt; v) change in fair market value of nondesignated hedges; vi) the adjustment to recognize rental revenues and rental expense using the straight-line method; vii) participation payments to ground lessors on refinancing of our properties; viii) other transactional items; and ix) income taxes on FFO.