In preparation for HOT's F2Q 2013 earnings release tomorrow, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.
YOUTUBE FROM Q1 CONFERENCE CALL
- "As of the end of the quarter, we sold and closed about 86% of Bal Harbour residences. That means there's only about 40 units left, and we expect to complete the sellout this year."
- "As we look at China, our business is generally picking up...we expect the Q2 REVPAR trend in China to be in the middle of our worldwide outlook range of 5% to 7%. New deal signing and new hotel opening pace remain robust."
- "Helped by the holiday shift, we expect North American REVPAR growth to be sequentially higher at the high end of our Q2 outlook range of 5% to 7% for company-operated hotels. Rate increases should approach 5% as we hit peak occupancies."
- "Group business continues to pace in the mid-single digits."
- "Government travel is about 2% of our North American business, so the sequester itself is less of a drag today than you might think. We are keeping an eye, however, on whether the austerity measures are having a broader effect on demand."
- "We also continue to sell owned hotels with long-term contracts. These two sources of growth, along with the continuation of the recovery, mean we have the potential to grow our fees at 9% to 12% per year. At the same time, we don't see the need to grow our SG&A faster than 3% to 5% a year. And most of our capital investments in making our system more attractive for owners is covered by our breakeven funds."
- "As maybe expected, European companies are watching their costs, groups are smaller, staying closer to home and booking"
- [Ex China] "the rest of Asia should grow in the upper half of our Q2 REVPAR outlook range."
- "With REVPAR up 7.1%, Africa and the Middle East was our fastest-growing region in Q1. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we were all there for the month of March. Jokes aside, the UAE is booming again with REVPAR growth of almost 14%. Saudi was up 8%. In North Africa, while the situation remains volatile, we are seeing some visitors return to the region. Egypt was up 30% in the quarter. We expect these trends to continue into Q2."
- "In Latin America, REVPAR was flat, dragged down by Argentina, which dropped 15% at company-operated hotels. Local inflation has significantly slowed travel into the country. The GAAP between the official and unofficial exchange rates continues to widen. Our margins are squeezed by weakening demand and rising local costs. This situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon."
- "In our vacation ownership business, trends remain stable. As a result, the reserves we need to set aside for loan losses continue to decline. Cash flow from this business remained strong."
- [M&A] "Our sense is that volume in this kind of environment should continue to pick up. In the U.S., it's the public REITs. There's the sovereign-wealth funds and high net worth outside the U.S. We are not yet seeing a market that is looking for what you might call large deals, truly multi-hotel deals, billion-dollar plus deals. It is still a market for one and two hotels at a time."
- "On buybacks, too, our goal is to be disciplined and be focused on buying back when we can, buy back at levels that are good relative to intrinsic value. You have seen us be very aggressive on buybacks in the past. So, again, this is something that we will review on a regular basis, and you should expect that our past behavior will tell you a lot about what we might do in the future."
- "A little over 60% of our same-store managed properties are paying incentive fees. Outside of the U.S., if you look at it purely on the outside of the U.S., that number is about 75%. In the U.S., it's probably in the 30% range."
- "We do have some modest ForEx headwinds. I mean, the move in the yen, as you know, has been quite substantial. And the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar are also a little weaker than they were earlier in the year. So, the exchange rate impacts of another $3 million to $4 million."