Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) saw an uptick in trading volume on Thursday . 5,676,779 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 262% from the previous session’s volume of 1,568,474 shares.The stock last traded at $78.74 and had previously closed at $78.72.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on HOT. Canaccord Genuity downgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and upped their target price for the company from $86.00 to $88.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Macquarie downgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $78.83.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $77.29 and a 200 day moving average of $75.15. The stock has a market cap of $13.35 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 161.68.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.03. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.84 earnings per share. The business earned $1.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.34 billion. The firm’s revenue was up .4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will post $2.97 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 390.8% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 446,134 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,908,000 after buying an additional 355,240 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 16,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,121,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems raised its stake in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 30,656 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,124,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP raised its stake in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 576,049 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,909,000 after buying an additional 43,383 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 251,303 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,411,000 after buying an additional 9,004 shares during the period.

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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