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2011 Timber REIT Results: Led by RYN, Sector Outpaces S&P 500

In 2011, timberland-owning REITs, as a sector, outperformed the S&P 500.  As measured by the Forisk Timber REIT (FTR) Index, publicly-traded timber REITs returned 5.69% versus 0.00% for the S&P (see tables).  The FTR Total Returns Index, which accounts for dividend distributions, earned 9.62% in 2011.

While the timber REIT sector performed well, individual firm performance varied.  Not including distributions, Rayonier (RYN) alone generated positive, stand-alone returns of 27.47%, which accounts for a mid-year 3-for-2 stock split.  The other three timber REITs generated negative returns of 1 to 4 percent.  The primary distinction between RYN and its timber REIT brethren is the relative size, magnitude and profitability in 2011 of its specialty performance fibers division.

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