Host Hotels Narrows Loss in 4Q on Higher RevPAR

Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST) revealed Tuesday a narrowed fourth-quarter loss, as revenue per available room continued to rise along with average rates.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company posted a net loss of $6 million, or a penny a share, compared with a loss of $72 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Funds from operations were 26 cents a share, narrowly missing the Street’s view of 27 cents.

Revenue for the real estate investment trust come was $1.49 billion, up from $1.33 billion a year ago, narrowly ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $1.45 billion.

Sales edged higher on a RevPAR increase of 6.2% during the quarter, helped further by stronger hotel revenues in its owned hotels, up 9% to $116 million. Average room rates increased 2.8%.

Amounting for approximately 31% of the company’s total revenue was the inclusion of property-level revenues for 71 leased, select-service hotels for which the company previously recorded rental income due to the termination of two subleases in July 2010.

At the end of the year, Host Hotels inked a deal to acquire the 775-room New York Helmsley Hotel in March for $315.5 million. The midtown Manhattan property will be initially operated by Starwood, and upon completion of renovations, will be converted to the Westin brand in 2012.

The company also entered into an agreement to acquire the entity that owns the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Hotel, and certain related rights, for $570 million. The deal is expected to close in March, pending various closing conditions.

Looking ahead, the company anticipates 2011 earnings in the range of 2 cents to 7 cents a share on net income of $19 million to $54 million.