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 lowered 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 assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target 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 stock has a 50 day moving average price of $77.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.13. The firm has a market cap of $13.10 billion, a PE ratio of 158.62 and a beta of 1.99. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a one year low of $56.87 and a one year high of $84.37.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 23rd will be issued a $0.375 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 21st. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.94%. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 312.50%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Omni Partners LLP boosted its position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 65,062.9% in the second quarter. Omni Partners LLP now owns 35,839,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after buying an additional 35,784,572 shares during the period. Water Island Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 574.5% in the second quarter. Water Island Capital LLC now owns 2,226,532 shares of the company’s stock worth $164,652,000 after buying an additional 1,896,448 shares during the period. York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide during the first quarter worth about $132,006,000. Carlson Capital L P boosted its position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 92.7% in the second quarter. Carlson Capital L P now owns 3,119,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,665,000 after buying an additional 1,500,530 shares during the period. Finally, CNH Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by 287.4% in the second quarter. CNH Partners LLC now owns 1,908,006 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,097,000 after buying an additional 1,415,553 shares during the period. 83.46% 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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