Host Hotels 3Q Loss Shrinks on Higher Room Rates

Host Hotels and Resorts (NYSE:HST) reported on Wednesday a narrowed third-quarter loss versus a year ago as improved room rates continued to compliment higher occupancy, but the company still predicts a full-year loss below Wall Street expectations.

The Bethesda, Md.-based hotel operator posted a net loss of $35 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $61 million, or 9 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of just 4 cents.

Total revenue for the three months ended Sept. 9 was $1.14 billion, up 14% from a year ago, just beating the Street’s view of $1.13 billion a year ago. Including only hotels it owns, revenue was up 15% to $1.085 billion.

Comparable hotel revenue per available room was up 6.4% during the quarter, with the help of a 3.7% increase in the average room rate and higher occupancy. RevPAR is up 6.3% year-to-date.

The company continues to scoop up more hotels, including 14 since July 2010. On Aug. 30, the company purchased for $11 million the remaining 51% interest in Tiburon Golf Ventures, which owns the golf club surrounding The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Golf Resort.

Looking toward the rest of the year, Host predicts RevPAR will be up 6.25% to 6.75% at year end, with operating profit margins up 170 basis points to 190 basis points.

Based on the updated parameters, Host Hotels predicts a full-year loss between 3 cents and a penny. Wall Street is predicting a profit of 2 cents.