Hilton Hotels (HLT) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday morning. They currently have $90.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hilton have outperformed the industry in the past six months and growth is expected to continue after the company reported better-than-expected earnings in eight of the trailing nine quarters. In the fourth quarter of 2018, earnings not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also surged 49.1% on a year-over-year basis. For 2019, the company projects adjusted earnings of $3.66-$3.78 cents per share. We believe that the improving economic indicators — along with expansion strategies and industry-leading loyalty program coupled with an asset-light business model — bode well for Hilton. For 2019, Hilton anticipates net unit growth of 6.5%, which in turn in expected to continue driving revenues. Yet, intense competition and cyclical nature of the industry are concerns. Moreover, a limited mix of luxury hotels is a disadvantage for the company.”

Several other research firms have also weighed in on HLT. Morgan Stanley set a $73.00 target price on Hilton Hotels and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Argus lowered Hilton Hotels from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 5th. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their target price on Hilton Hotels from $93.00 to $84.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 29th. ValuEngine lowered Hilton Hotels from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Raymond James reduced their target price on Hilton Hotels from $96.00 to $82.00 and set a strong-buy rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $85.13.

HLT opened at $81.75 on Monday. Hilton Hotels has a twelve month low of $63.76 and a twelve month high of $86.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 13.03, a current ratio of 0.84 and a quick ratio of 0.84. The company has a market capitalization of $24.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.30, a P/E/G ratio of 3.99 and a beta of 1.14.

Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.10. Hilton Hotels had a return on equity of 88.54% and a net margin of 8.58%. The firm had revenue of $2.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.26 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.54 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Hilton Hotels will post 3.06 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. Hilton Hotels’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.51%.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Hilton Hotels by 1.5% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 21,281,978 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,719,158,000 after buying an additional 320,187 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Hilton Hotels by 1.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,858,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,354,017,000 after purchasing an additional 309,819 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Hilton Hotels by 86.0% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 14,625,187 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,157,730,000 after purchasing an additional 6,763,660 shares during the period. Harris Associates L P increased its position in shares of Hilton Hotels by 86.7% during the fourth quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 13,199,591 shares of the company’s stock valued at $947,731,000 after purchasing an additional 6,127,890 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Hilton Hotels by 5.4% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 9,796,994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $703,424,000 after purchasing an additional 505,931 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 97.38% of the company’s stock.

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, Hilton Wen'an, and Hilton Grand Vacations brands.

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