Starwood Hotels Beats Q1 Earnings Estimates

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) released its first-quarter earnings report before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company said it had $0.70 in earnings per share (EPS) on $1.4 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates had called for $0.58 in EPS on revenue of $1.34 billion. The same period from last year had EPS of $0.65 and $1.42 billion in revenue.

During the first quarter, Worldwide Systemwide revenue per average room (REVPAR) for same-store hotels increased 1.0% in constant dollars (decreased 1.3% in actual dollars) compared to 2015. Systemwide REVPAR for same-store hotels in North America increased 2.0% in constant dollars (increased 1.3% in actual dollars).

At the same time, Starwood signed 44 hotel management and franchise contracts, representing roughly 7,000 rooms and opened 18 hotels and resorts with about 3,700 rooms.

Earlier in April, Starwood and Marriott held special stockholder meetings at which the stockholders of both companies approved proposals relating to Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood. At closing, Starwood’s stockholders will receive 0.80 shares of Marriott common stock and $21.00 in cash for each share of the common stock. The transaction remains on track to close in mid-2016 and is subject to remaining regulatory approvals, including in the European Union and China, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Thomas Mangas, CEO of Starwood, commented:

We had a very strong quarter, despite facing a tough macroeconomic environment and the distraction of a very public bidding war for our company. Thanks to the hard work, dedication and perseverance of our highly talented associates around the world, we delivered adjusted EBITDA and EPS well ahead of our expectations.

He continued:

We achieved these results by staying focused on execution. With REVPAR in-line with our expectations and solid net rooms growth, we experienced the highest core fees growth in the last six quarters. Our strong pace of development continued in the first quarter, with 18 hotels opened and 44 new hotels signed, the highest level of signings in a first quarter since 2007. Our hotels outperformed the competition, increasing REVPAR Index across our three divisions, with strong REVPAR index performance at Sheraton in particular.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.18 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $1.05 billion at the end of 2015.

Shares of Starwood traded on Tuesday at $81.88, with a consensus analyst price target of $80.50 and a 52-week trading range of $56.87 to $87.66.