Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT reported mixed results for the second quarter of 2018, wherein earnings met analysts' expectations but revenues lagged. Markedly, after posting earnings beat for straight six quarters, Hilton's adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share in the second quarter met the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings increased 37% year over year.
Hilton reported revenues of $2.3 billion. This missed the consensus estimate of $2.5 billion. However, revenues increased 10.4% from the year-ago quarter on higher comparable revenue per available room (RevPAR).
Following the results, shares moved a meager 0.8% in the afterhours trading yesterday. In the past year, shares of Hilton have gained 28.4%, outperforming the industry 's collective growth of 9.1%.
During the second quarter, Hilton opened 123 hotels taking room count to 17,100. The company achieved net unit growth of 15,800 rooms, indicating an 18% increase from the prior-year quarter. As of Jun 30, Hilton's portfolio consisted of more than 2,370 hotels with 362,000 rooms throughout 105 countries and territories. Additionally 194,000 rooms were located outside the United States while 186,000 rooms were under construction.
We believe that improving economic indicators have been a blessing for the hotel industry as these have perked up leisure and business travel demand. Under such circumstances, aggressive expansion strategies, an industry-leading loyalty program and an asset-light business model bode well for Hilton.
RevPAR and Adjusted EBITDA
In the quarter under review, system-wide comparable RevPAR increased 4% (on a currency-neutral basis) at the high end of the guided range of 3-4%. The improvement was driven by growth in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR). Strength in the company's international hotels mainly in Europe and Asia Pacific also contributed to the increase.
At managed and franchised hotels, comparable RevPAR increased 3.9% in the quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $217 million, up 43.7% year over year. Furthermore, solid RevPAR growth and efficient cost control positively impacted EBITDA growth.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Quote
Cash, Debt and Share Repurchase
As of Jun 30, 2018, cash and cash equivalents balance was $505 million, lower than $670 million at the end of Dec 31, 2017. Long-term debt was $7.7 billion. In the second quarter, the company repurchased 18.5 million shares of its common stock for roughly $1.3 billion and an average price per share of $72.01.
In June 2018, Hilton paid a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share on its common stock, for a total of $45 million. In Jule 2018, management authorized a regular quarterly dividend of 15 cents payable on Sep 28 to holders of record as of the close of business on Aug 10.
Third-Quarter 2018 Outlook
For third-quarter 2018, adjusted earnings are anticipated between 71 cents and 76 cents per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 76 cents. Hilton projects system-wide RevPAR to increase 2.5% to 3% year over year on a comparable as well as currency-neutral basis. Adjusted EBITDA is envisioned in the $540-$560 million band. Also, the company expects management and franchise fee revenues to improve in the band of 8-10% year over year.
2018 View Upbeat
For 2018, adjusted earnings per share are projected between $2.64 cents and $2.71 cents, the lower end being slightly up from the prior estimate of $2.62-$2.71 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $2.69. System-wide RevPAR is anticipated to witness a year-over-year improvement of 3-4% on a comparable and currency-neutral basis compared with the earlier estimate of 2-4%. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA is expected in the $2,070-$2,100 million band, still increasing at 8-10%.
Also, the company continues to expect management and franchise fee revenues to increase in the band of 9-11% year over year. It continues to anticipate net unit growth of 6.5%.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Hilton has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other hotel stocks with the same rank include Hilton Grand Vacations HGV , Extended Stay STAY and Hyatt H . You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
While Extended Stay and Hilton Grand Vacation's earnings for 2018 are projected to rise 15% and 54.3% year over year, respectively, Hyatt's earnings for 2019 are expected to increase 31.1%.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report Extended Stay America, Inc. (STAY): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here.