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Starwood Hotels Cut to a “Hold” at Jefferies (HOT)

Hotel and resort operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc ( HOT ) on Friday caught a big downgrade from analysts at Jefferies & Co.

The firm cut its rating on HOT from "Buy" to "Hold" and slashed its price target from $68 all the way down to $42. That new target suggests a small downside to the stock's Thursday closing price of $43.71.

A Jefferies analyst commented, "We believe HOT is more levered to RevPAR disappointments than either pure play manager/franchisors given its significant owned portfolio of assets (approximately 40% of EBITDA) and thus we have become more cautious on expectations for 2012."

As a result, the analyst also cut its earnings estimates significantly through 2012.

Starwood Hotels shares fell 53 cents, or -1.2%, in early trading Friday.

The Bottom Line

Shares of Starwood Hotels ( HOT ) have a .69% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $43.71. The stock has technical support in the $37-$41 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $45-$50 price levels.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc ( HOT ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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