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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) was upgraded by stock analysts at UBS AG from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $85.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $75.00. UBS AG’s target price suggests a potential upside of 8.11% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “favorable” fundamental outlook, especially following investor reactions to lack of share buybacks since last quarter. The analyst reported that China’s RevPAR is improving up more than 3.5% in the fourth quarter and sees continued strength in North America. UBS added that Starwood has “ample flexibility on balance sheet for buybacks even if asset sales are more weighted toward later in the cycle.” The analyst wrote, “HOT understands investors want to see more share repo, and mgmt reiterated the value they see at these share levels. We believe whatever issues prevented share repo in last quarter will not be an issue after Q4 reporting restrictions are past. On asset sales, HOT’s goal of $3B from ’13-’16 implies pick up from current levels but mgmt sees transaction pace picking up and private equity back at the table in discussions.”

A number of other firms have also recently commented on HOT. Analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from $70.00 to $82.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 21st. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from $80.00 to $90.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 2nd. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in a research note on Friday, December 20th. They now have a $82.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $79.74.

Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) traded up 4.33% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $78.62. 2,650,595 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a 1-year low of $58.26 and a 1-year high of $81.39. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $77.28 and its 200-day moving average is $71.79. The company has a market cap of $15.057 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.63.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 19th. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.70 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will post $2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE:HOT) is a hotel and leisure company.

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