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 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $78.83.

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

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) opened at 77.25 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $77.44 and a 200-day moving average price of $77.13. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a 52 week low of $56.87 and a 52 week high of $84.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.10 billion, a PE ratio of 158.62 and a beta of 1.99.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) last issued 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 analysts’ expectations of $1.34 billion. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide had a return on equity of 50.53% and a net margin of 1.47%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will post $2.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 23rd will be issued 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 1.94%. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s payout ratio is currently 312.50%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the second quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 33.4% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,781 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 446 shares during the last quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the first quarter valued at approximately $234,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 9.6% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,468 shares of the company’s stock valued at $256,000 after buying an additional 305 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the second quarter valued at approximately $264,000. Institutional investors own 83.46% of the company’s stock.

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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