Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Hilton’s fourth-quarter earnings of 54 cents per share topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents but declined 22.9% year over year. Revenues of $2.28 billion rose 23.9% from the prior-year quarter, beating the consensus mark of $2.26 billion. In the fourth quarter, system-wide comparable revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 3.8%, driven by growth in occupancy and average daily rate. The company’s loyalty program continues to drive occupancy. Moreover, with the spin-off of a portfolio of hotels and resorts as well as its timeshare business, Hilton has transformed into a capital-light operating business. Earnings estimates for the current year have also gone up over the last 60 days. Yet, soft group performance in the United States, political unrest in the Middle East and other macroeconomic concerns are pressurizing RevPAR growth. Shares have underperformed its industry in the last year.”
A number of other research firms have also issued reports on HLT. Raymond James Financial raised Hilton Worldwide from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $78.00 to $69.00 in a report on Monday, January 8th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a report on Friday, December 8th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up previously from $73.00) on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on Hilton Worldwide to $92.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Hilton Worldwide to $96.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $80.89.
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Hilton Worldwide had a return on equity of 39.37% and a net margin of 13.77%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.70 EPS. analysts predict that Hilton Worldwide will post 2.62 earnings per share for the current year.
Hilton Worldwide announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, November 16th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HLT. Hilton Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $208,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $208,000. Lombard Odier Asset Management Europe Ltd bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide during the 4th quarter worth approximately $208,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $219,000. Finally, Keybank National Association OH bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $221,000. Institutional investors own 98.70% of the company’s stock.
Hilton Worldwide Company Profile
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc is a hospitality company. The Company is engaged in owning, leasing, managing and franchising hotels and resorts. The Company’s segments include ownership, and management and franchise. Its global portfolio of owned and leased properties includes a range of hotels in gateway cities, such as New York City, London, San Francisco, Chicago, Sao Paolo and Tokyo.
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