Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Hilton Hotels (HLT) to Sell

Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hilton have declined sharply in the past six months. Earnings estimates for current and next year have witnessed downward revisions over the past 30 days, reflecting analyst's concern over the stock's growth potential.  Moreover, cyclical nature of the hospitality industry and other macro woes along with the stock's stretched valuation pose concerns. Challenging economic conditions in some key operating regions along with stiff competition remain concerns for Hilton. Compared with other big hotel chains, Hilton is seen to have a lower mix of luxury and upper upscale rooms. However, we believe that the improving economic indicators — along with aggressive expansion strategies, industry-leading loyalty program, coupled with an asset-light business model — bode well for Hilton.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Cowen began coverage on Hilton Hotels in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $81.00 price objective for the company. Raymond James cut their price objective on Hilton Hotels from $96.00 to $82.00 and set a “strong-buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price objective on Hilton Hotels from $93.00 to $84.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Robert W. Baird set a $84.00 price objective on Hilton Hotels and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, B. Riley upgraded Hilton Hotels from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $91.00 to $85.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $84.61.

HLT stock traded down $0.56 during trading on Friday, hitting $71.51. 830,534 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,050,156. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 13.03. The stock has a market cap of $21.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.76, a P/E/G ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 1.20. Hilton Hotels has a 1 year low of $63.76 and a 1 year high of $88.11.

Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.41 billion. Hilton Hotels had a return on equity of 63.76% and a net margin of 15.51%. The business’s revenue was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.56 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Hilton Hotels will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hilton Hotels in the 3rd quarter valued at $114,000. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new stake in Hilton Hotels during the 3rd quarter worth about $152,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new stake in Hilton Hotels during the 3rd quarter worth about $187,000. MML Investors Services LLC purchased a new stake in Hilton Hotels during the 3rd quarter worth about $202,000. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC increased its holdings in Hilton Hotels by 117.9% during the 3rd quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 2,602 shares of the company’s stock worth $210,000 after purchasing an additional 1,408 shares during the period. 96.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Hilton Hotels Company Profile

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, a hospitality company, owns, leases, manages, develops, and franchises hotels and resorts. It operates through two segments, Management and Franchise; and Ownership. The company engages in the hotel management and licensing of its brands to franchisees. It operates hotels under the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and Hilton Grand Vacations brands.

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