Hyatt’s earning land just short of analyst estimates

By Xiumei Dong

Hyatt Hotels Corp. turned in fourth-quarter earnings that, while slightly below analyst forecasts, underscored how the hotel chain is currently benefiting from having a smaller international presence than its rivals.

Net income dropped to $37 million, or 26 cents per share, from $182 million, or $1.20 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue increased by 2.8 percent, to $1.11 billion from $1.08 billion a year ago.

Hyatt said that when adjusted to exclude special items, per-share earning were 21 cents, down from an adjusted 31 cents in last year’s quarter. The 21-cent result was slightly below the 24 cents-per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance.

“It was basically in line with our forecast,” said Dan Wasiolek, Senior Equity Analyst at Morningstar. He said the growth of the industry metric known as “revenue per available room” (RevPAR) at Hyatt was better than competitors, due to a relatively greater U.S. exposure.

“There is some pretty well-known weakness in the market such as the Middle East, Asian Pacific, and Latin America for economic reasons. Again Hyatt is more positioned to the U.S. market that’s more resilience, maybe that’s helping the stock today,” said Wasiolek.

In New York Stock Exchange trading, Hyatt shares rose $1.23, or 2.9 percent, to close at $43.45.

Hyatt Hotels Cor. since Feb. 17, 2015

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Hyatt Hotels has a 52-week low of $34.06 and a 52-week high of $61.99. (Xiumei Dong/MEDILL)

“Over the last five years, we have has expanded our system of hotels by approximately 40 percent,” Mark S. Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said. “Our opening have provided more travel opportunities for our guests and more career opportunities for our colleagues. In 2016, we expect to open a record number of hotels as the momentum for out brand continues to builds.”

Hyatt reported that comparable owned and leased RevPAR increased by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. RevPAR is a performance metric in the hotel industry that is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate, it represents the success the hotel is having at filling its rooms.

“For the first times as a public company, Hyatt provided RevPAR Guidance-it expects system wise growth of 3.0 percent to 5.0 percent (constant FX) for 2016, which should not be a surprise, in our opinion,” wrote David Loeb, Senior Research Analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., “given that the other major global brands had previously guided to 4.0 percent to 6.0 percent growth but have since revised their ranges lower. Our last published growth estimate for Hyatt was 4.6 percent.”

For the full year, Hyatt’s net earnings, burdened by a hefty charge, decreased 64.2 percent to $124 million, or 86 cents per share, from $344 million, or $2.23 per share. Revenue dropped 2 percent to $4.33 billion from $4.42 billion in 2014.

Photo on top: Park Hyatt Chicago on 800 N Michigan Ave, Chicago. (avrenim_acceber/FLICKR)
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