Hilton's heady Q2 gives reason to raise outlook

Like most other hotel companies in the second quarter, Hilton Worldwide showed strong growth.

The hotel company earned $209 million in the quarter compared to earnings of $155 million at the same time last year. Total revenue climbed 12 percent to $2.67 billion.

Revenue per available room rose 6.7 percent in the quarter at Hilton's hotels open at least one year. Hilton, which reportedly receives three-quarters of its revenue from the U.S., said U.S. comparable RevPAR increased 7.3 percent in the second quarter.

Hilton raised $2.35 billion last December in the largest hotel IPO ever, an offering that topped the $2.1 billion generated by Twitter's IPO the month before. Hilton was taken private in 2007 by Blackstone Group, which still holds the majority voting power in the company.

Commenting on the quarter, Chris Nassetta, president and CEO, said, "We had another great quarter, and as a result, we are increasing our adjusted EBITDA and EPS outlook for the year. We continue to increase the global presence of our industry-leading brands, with over 8,000 new rooms opening during the second quarter. We also remain number one in rooms under construction in every major region of the world, with an 18 percent share of all rooms under construction globally, totaling 542 hotels and 106,000 rooms."

He went on to discuss Hilton's big announcement earlier this week that it is investing $500 million in mobile capabilities. "For the first time in the industry, our guests can check-in, using their Hilton HHonors account on a mobile device, tablet or computer, and choose their exact room from digital floor plans before arriving at their hotel," he said.

This capability will be available at U.S.-based Hilton Worldwide properties across six brands by the end of the summer, and by the end of 2014, guests at more than 4,000 properties in 80-plus countries can experience this new technology. "Moving forward, we will give guests even more choice and control with the ability to use their smart phones as a room key and are pleased to announce that by the end of 2015, all U.S. hotels across four brands will have this capability, with the entire global portfolio of brands following soon after," Nassetta said.

Hilton's earnings report is in line with most of the other big large hotel companies, save for Hyatt, whose quarter was off. This includes Starwood, Wyndham and Marriott, both of which showed strong second-quarter growth.

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