Hilton Worldwide (HLT) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Hilton’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 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. Shares have underperformed its industry in the last year.”
Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide from $78.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide from $90.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide to $92.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Hilton Worldwide from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Finally, B. Riley reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $84.00 price target (up from $73.00) on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Hilton Worldwide presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $80.89.
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.24 billion. Hilton Worldwide had a net margin of 13.77% and a return on equity of 39.37%. Hilton Worldwide’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.70 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Hilton Worldwide will post 2.62 EPS for the current year.
Hilton Worldwide declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, November 16th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HLT. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide in the second quarter worth approximately $219,000. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew 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 purchasing an additional 214,754 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 6.2% in the third quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 35,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,472,000 after purchasing an additional 2,083 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Hilton Worldwide by 55.8% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 527,346 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,625,000 after purchasing an additional 188,870 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Keybank National Association OH bought a new position in shares of Hilton Worldwide in the third quarter worth approximately $221,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.70% of the company’s stock.
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Hilton Worldwide Company Profile
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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