Hilton's Quarterly Profit More Than Doubles

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria hotel chain, reported a quarterly profit that was more than double that of a year earlier, helped by tax benefits and higher room rates.

The company's earnings per share and revenue also handily beat Wall Street's estimates.

The company, which said in February it would spin off most of its assets into a real estate investment trust, reiterated its forecast for full-year earnings and revenue per available room (RevPAR).

Hilton said it expected 2016 RevPAR to increase by 3-5 percent, excluding the impact of exchange rates, and forecast earnings of 92 cents to 98 cents per share.

RevPAR is a key metric of hotel health, calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by occupancy rate.

Hilton's average daily rate for its rooms rose 2.5 percent to $141.62 in the first quarter ended March 31, while occupancy fell by 0.3 percent to 70.2 percent.

The net income attributable to stockholders rose to $309 million, or 31 cents per share, in the latest quarter from $150 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding tax benefits of $153 million, Hilton earned 17 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose about 6 percent to $2.75 billion.

Analysts on average had expected first-quarter earnings of 16 cents per share on revenue of $2.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)