* Fourth-quarter adjusted EPS $0.20 vs est $0.12
* Fourth-quarter revPAR up 7.5 percent
* Weak growth in out-of-the-room spends
* Shares down as much as 4 pct
By Bijoy Anandoth Koyitty
Feb 13 Hyatt Hotels Corp reported
lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and margins on weak
performance in Europe and the Middle East and a slow recovery in
its convention business, sending its shares down as much as 4
Management and franchise revenue fell more than 5 percent in
in the company's Europe, Africa, Middle East and Southwest Asia
division. RevPAR, or revenue per available room, fell about 1
percent in the region.
"In terms of international performance, growth in revPAR is
still very very weak," FBR Capital Markets analyst Nikhil Bhalla
He said the international business, along with lower growth
in outside-the-room spending, hurt Hyatt's margin performance.
Hyatt said operating margins on owned and leased hotels open
for a year fell 110 basis points to 21.6 percent in the fourth
quarter ended Dec. 31.
Hyatt's results indicate that the group business, a
high-margin category driven by spending on conventions and
banquettes, is still under pressure.
"It seems like transient revenue was up 6.9 percent, but
group revenue was up only 3.3 percent, which basically suggests
that the group segment was a drag on earnings," Bhalla said.
Transient customers refer to individual travelers, whose
spending is mostly room-related.
The company, controlled by the billionaire Pritzker family,
spoke of "headwinds" in its international markets, but added it
was poised for solid growth in 2013 due to its large exposure to
the U.S. market.
About three quarters of Hyatt's revenue comes from the
United States, where a business-led recovery has lifted hotel
occupancy rates over the past year.
Hyatt, which competes with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
and Marriott International, reported a 7.5
percent increase in revPAR in the quarter.
Total revenue rose 1 percent to $1.0 billion, missing
analysts' expectations of $1.03 billion, according to Thomson
Excluding items, the company earned 20 cents per share,
beating analysts' expectations of 12 cents per share, helped by
one-time items and a tax benefit.
Net profit fell to $16 million, or 9 cents per share, from
$52 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago.
Shares of the company, which have gained 21 percent in the
three months to Tuesday, were down 2 percent at $41.31 in midday