Hilton Worldwide (HLT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Hilton’s shares have slightly outpaced its industry in the last year. The company’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 quarter and 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.”
HLT has been the subject of several other reports. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of Hilton Worldwide to $96.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Raymond James Financial upgraded shares of Hilton Worldwide from an outperform rating to a strong-buy rating and cut their target price for the company from $78.00 to $69.00 in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Argus boosted their target price on shares of Hilton Worldwide from $2.40 to $94.00 and gave the company a positive rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Morgan Stanley restated a buy rating on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of Hilton Worldwide from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, November 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $80.44.
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Hilton Worldwide had a net margin of 13.77% and a return on equity of 39.37%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 23.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.70 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Hilton Worldwide will post 2.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Hilton Worldwide declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, November 16th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 1st. Hilton Worldwide’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.42%.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide in the second quarter worth $219,000. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. lifted its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 296.6% in the third quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 59,496 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,131,000 after buying an additional 44,493 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 11.7% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 278,340 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,331,000 after buying an additional 29,200 shares in the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 362.3% in the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 274,025 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,031,000 after buying an additional 214,754 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 0.8% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 253,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,593,000 after buying an additional 2,090 shares in the last quarter. 99.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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About Hilton Worldwide
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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