Feb. 05 -- Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. , a Hunt Valley -based real estate investment trust, announced Monday that it earned $47.2 million for the three months ended Dec. 31 , an increase of 39 percent over the $33.9 million earned during same period in 2012. Fourth quarter earnings per share rose to 38 cents last year from 30 cents in 2012. Shaes in Omega rose 17 cents Tuesday to close at $31.50 each. Omega, which buys and lends to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, saw fourth quarter revenue increase 17 percent to $111.1 million in 2013, from $95 million in 2012. For the year, the real estate firm earned $172.5 million on revenue of $418.7 million , up from $120.7 million on revenue of $350.5 million . Omega attributed the revenue gains to $846 million in new investments since Oct. 2012 , including a $529 million sale/leaseback deal for 56 facilities that closed in November. Expenses also dropped, helped by debt refinancing of HUD loans at lower interest rates. Omega owns or has mortages on more than 530 facilities catering to the elderly in 37 states, including Florida , Indiana and Ohio . The operators of those properties derive more than half of their revenues from Medicaid , the government provided health insurance for low-income citizens, according to the earnings report. ___ (c)2014 The Baltimore Sun Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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