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Incomplete purchase, default lower Pacific Office earnings

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    The Waterfront Plaza, above, is one of five Honolulu buildings wholly owned by Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. The others are Davies Pacific Center, the Pan Am Building, First Insurance Cenetr and Clifford Center.

Extraordinary expenses dragged down first-quarter earnings of Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc., the San Diego-based office building owner with much of its portfolio in Hono­lulu.

The company reported negative $783,000 in "funds from operations" during the January-March period. That compared with a positive $1.2 million in the same quarter last year.

As a real estate investment trust, Pacific Office, like others, emphasizes funds from operations as a better reflection of financial health.

The measure doesn’t account for property depreciation and such things as tenant allowances and gains or losses from property sales. It is a rough equivalent to operating income in the industry, which enjoys special tax benefits dealing in real estate.

Three significant items depressed funds from operations for Pacific Office in the first quarter, including an extraordinary expense of $199,000 related to the company’s inability to complete a purchase of 12 California office properties for $306 million.

The purchase was to have been financed by the sale of Pacific Office stock, but the offering was withdrawn. The cancellation of the stock offering and a separate stock offering resulted in an expense of $420,000 during the quarter.

Another extraordinary expense was $490,000 in default interest and penalties related to Pacific Office loans on its Pacific Business News Building in Waikiki and City Square office complex in Phoenix.

The delinquent loans were paid off in the quarter, and Pacific Office found a partner to invest in the two buildings, which are now co-owned.

Excluding the extraordinary expenses, Pacific Office’s first-quarter funds from operations were a negative $198,000.

Accounting for all income and expenses, Pacific Office reported a net loss of $5.4 million in the first quarter, up from a $4.7 million loss a year earlier. First-quarter revenue totaled $18.9 million compared with $17.9 million.

Pacific Office owns 24 office properties, 18 of which are owned with joint-venture partners. The company wholly owns six properties, including five in Honolulu.

The five wholly owned Honolulu buildings are Waterfront Plaza, Davies Pacific Center, the Pan Am Building, First Insurance Center and Clifford Center.

Pacific Office, which was founded by local commercial real estate investor Jay Shidler, is seeking joint-venture partners or buyers for its wholly owned Honolulu buildings as a way to recapitalize the company, make building improvements and expand.

Shares of Pacific Office stock on the American Stock Exchange closed yesterday at $2.02, up 1 cent from Friday’s closing price, which was a 52-week low.

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