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COPT suffers $20.8 million loss in third quarter

Corporate Office Properties Trust, the Columbia-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, lost $20.8 million during the third quarter of the year, though the cash it earned from operations was well above the amount it made during the same three-month period last year, the company announced Thursday.

On a per share basis, COPT lost 39 cents. But COPT's funds from operations, often used by real estate investment firms to show their health, was $48.9 million during the quarter -- an increase of 15.5 percent over the amount earned during the third quarter of 2011, according to a statement from the company.

“Year to date, we are ahead of plan on leasing, on selling non-strategic properties, and in de-leveraging our balance sheet," said Roger A. Waesche, Jr., COPT's president and CEO, in the statement. "We remain focused on completing the strategic initiatives currently in progress to position the Company for future growth," he said.

The company leased more than 600,000 square feet of space during the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Of that leased space, about 260,000 square feet were in new developments that were leased for the first time, COPT said.

During the third quarter, COPT "disposed of 24 operating properties for $178.1 million," the company's statement said. The company now has 206 operating properties, down from 238 at the same time last year.

The firm had eight office properties under construction as of the end of September and three more were started this month, the statement said.

Have a real estate news tip or experience to share? Email me at steve.kilar@baltsun.com.

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