October 26, 2017 / 10:11 AM / in a year

Hilton results top estimates as business travel remains robust

(Reuters) - Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the third quarter amid booming business travel, leading the company to raise its full-year profit forecast for the third time this year.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Hilton hotel is seen in Batumi, Georgia, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili/File Photo

Hilton, which owns hotel chain Waldorf Astoria, said it now expects adjusted earnings of $1.87 to $1.91 per share, up from its previous forecast of $1.78 to $1.85 per share.

Business travel is on the rise on improved business sentiment following Donald Trump’s election as president in November.

Expectations of pro-business measures like tax cuts and simpler regulations from Trump have lifted Wall Street to record highs since his election.

Hilton, which owns 14 brands of hotels and resorts, said it expects RevPAR, a key measure of revenue, to grow 1-3 percent in 2018. RevPAR is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate.

Net income attributable to Hilton stockholders was $179 million, or 55 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

The company’s net income in the year-ago quarter was $187 million, or 57 cents per share, reflecting $103 million from discontinued operations.

Excluding items, Hilton earned 56 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose to $2.35 billion from $1.87 billion.

Analysts on average had expected quarterly earnings of 50 cents per share and revenue of $2.28 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Pranav Kiran in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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