The structural and magnetic properties of cubic perovskites, PrCoO 3 and NdCoO3, are studied using the full potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method within the frame work of density functional theory (DFT). The structural parameters are also investigated by analytical techniques. The calculated structural parameters are consistent with the experimental results. The strong hybridization of the O-2p, Co-3d and Pr/Nd-4 f states around the Fermi level reveals that these compounds are metallic. It is also found that the origin of ferromagnetism in these compounds is double-exchange interaction between Co-3d states via O-2p states (CoOCo). © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.