* First-quarter revenue $1.07 bln vs est. $1.06 bln
* Adj. earnings $0.13/share vs est. $0.11/share
* Comparable systemwide revPAR increases 7.7 pct
* Shares rise as much as 4 percent
(Adds analyst comments, updates share price)
By Mridhula Raghavan
April 30 Hyatt Hotels Corp reported a
better-than-expected profit and said occupancy rates were likely
to grow for the rest of the year as U.S. business travel
Shares of Hyatt, controlled by the billionaire Pritzker
family of Chicago, rose nearly 4 percent to $56.04 on Wednesday.
The company, owner of the Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt
Regency brands, said group bookings rose 13 percent in the first
quarter ended March 31, boding well for the rest of the year.
Hyatt gets about 45 percent of its revenue from group
bookings, under which rooms are reserved in bulk for events and
Group bookings bring in more revenue because it often
includes services such as catering.
"Looking ahead, we expect healthy occupancy and (room) rate
growth, particularly in the Americas, as (Hyatt's) group
business continues to recover and transient business remains
strong," Chief Executive Mark Hoplamazian said in a statement.
Hyatt's comparable revenue per available room (revPAR)
across all its properties increased 7.7 percent in the quarter.
RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily
room rate by its occupancy rate.
"The results we have seen thus far from the lodging
companies really tell a story of a very healthy North American
market and an improving global market," Macquarie Research
analyst Chad Beynon told Reuters.
Marriott International Inc and Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide Inc have also reported strong profits
for the January-March quarter.
However, both Hyatt and Marriott said revenue in the current
quarter could be affected by Easter holidays, which were in
April this year after falling in March last year.
Group bookings normally fall in holidays as businesses close
or postpone their events.
Hyatt's attributable net income rose seven-fold to $56
million, or 36 cents per share.
Excluding items, Hyatt earned 13 cents per share, above the
11 cents expected by analysts on average, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.07 billion,
edging past the average estimate of $1.06 billion.
Hyatt's shares were up 3.5 percent at $55.93 in early
afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Shares of Marriott and Starwood were up 1 percent.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju