Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. They currently have $88.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Hilton’s shares have slightly outpaced its industry in the last one 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 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 topic of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide to $96.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a 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 price target for the stock from $78.00 to $69.00 in a report on Monday, January 8th. Argus lifted their price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide from $2.40 to $94.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Morgan Stanley reiterated a buy rating on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Barclays reiterated a hold rating and set a $88.00 price target on shares of Hilton Worldwide in a report on Friday, February 16th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $80.89.
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.28 billion for 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%. Hilton Worldwide’s revenue was up 23.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.70 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Hilton Worldwide will post 2.62 EPS for the current year.
Hilton Worldwide declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, November 16th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 1st. Hilton Worldwide’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.97%.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its stake in Hilton Worldwide by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 23,216 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,854,000 after buying an additional 2,689 shares during the last quarter. Tuttle Tactical Management LLC bought a new stake in Hilton Worldwide in the fourth quarter valued at $733,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. increased its stake in Hilton Worldwide by 63.4% in the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 9,532 shares of the company’s stock valued at $761,000 after purchasing an additional 3,700 shares in the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Hilton Worldwide in the fourth quarter valued at $4,997,000. Finally, Jump Trading LLC bought a new stake in Hilton Worldwide in the fourth quarter valued at $286,000. 98.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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