Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Starwood has significant international presence and is therefore highly vulnerable to fluctuations in exchange rates. Moreover, declining revenues from the company’s residential business due to the sale of Bal Harbor remain a concern, which could continue to hurt the top line in the near term. Further, estimates have been going down ahead of Starwood’s third quarter earnings release. Nonetheless, acquisition by Marriott bode well as it would lead to the creation of world's largest hotel company. Moreover, aggressive expansion and the company's asset disposition strategy should drive growth. Also, the company has mostly positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, political uncertainties in Europe and in some parts of Africa and the economic slowdown in China are expected to keep the top line and operating margins under pressure.”

Separately, TheStreet cut shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $78.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT)

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Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) traded up 2.45% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $76.93. The stock had a trading volume of 8,347,145 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $77.47 and its 200-day moving average price is $77.08. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a 1-year low of $56.87 and a 1-year high of $84.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.04 billion, a PE ratio of 157.97 and a beta of 1.99.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.03. The company earned $1.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.34 billion. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide had a return on equity of 50.53% and a net margin of 1.47%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.84 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Friday, September 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.375 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 21st. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.00%. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s dividend payout ratio is currently 312.50%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Magnetar Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 8.6% in the first quarter. Magnetar Financial LLC now owns 3,318,301 shares of the company’s stock valued at $264,635,000 after buying an additional 264,055 shares in the last quarter. Natixis bought a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the first quarter worth approximately $74,903,000. Norges Bank bought a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the fourth quarter worth approximately $96,331,000. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 5.7% in the second quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 25,882 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,914,000 after buying an additional 1,389 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the second quarter worth approximately $1,679,000. 83.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc is a hotel and leisure company. The Company’s hotel business is focused on the global operation of hotels and resorts primarily in the luxury and upper upscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company manages and operates its hotel business in three hotel segments: the Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), and Asia Pacific.

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