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Warehouse-focused REIT Prologis lowers FFO forecast on slowing freight demand

(Reuters) - Warehouse-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) Prologis lowered its full-year forecast for core funds from operations (FFO) on Wednesday, citing lower occupancy due to a slowdown in freight demand, sending its shares down 3% in premarket trading.

U.S. logistic companies like UPS and FedEx, whom Prologis counts as some of its biggest customers, have seen a sustained fall in freight volumes caused by a shift in consumer spending post-pandemic towards services, hurting transporters and, in turn, logistics warehouses.

The company now expects its 2024 core FFO to be in a range of $5.37 to $5.47 from $5.42 to $5.56, expected previously.

It also lowered the mid-point for average occupancy of its warehouses by 75 basis points, expecting an occupancy rate of 95.75% to 96.75% from 96.50% to 97.50% previously.

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"We expect net absorption in the upcoming quarters to be lower than our prior expectations and leasing to stay competitive in a handful of our larger, higher-rent markets," CFO Tim Arndt said.

The San Francisco, California-based company reported a first-quarter core FFO of $1.28 per share, in line with analysts' estimates.

The REIT also reported total rental revenues of $1.83 billion compared to $1.63 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected the company to post rental revenues of $1.87 billion, according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Abhinav Parmar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)