Ventas: Rent hikes, acquisitions boost funds from operations

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Ventas' first-quarter funds from operations are up 41% over the same period a year ago, the real estate investment trust announced Tuesday. The Louisville, KY-based company attributed the rise to increased rents as a result of real estate acquisitions last year.

Officials also said rent increases under its leases with some tenants
contributed to the big jump. Ventas owns nursing homes, assisted-living
communities and hospitals, and leases them to other operators, most notably
Louisville-based nursing home giant Kindred Healthcare. Ventas said recent
acquisitions have helped reduce its reliance on rents from Kindred.

Ventas reported that funds from operations, commonly used as a measure of
performance for REITs, totaled $57.5 million during the first quarter of
2006 compared with $40.7 million in the first quarter of 2005. Net income
for the company in the first quarter was $29.1 million, up from $27.6 in the
first quarter of last year. The REIT forecast 7% growth in funds from
operations for 2006.