UPDATE: UBS Upgrades Starwood On 'Favorable' Fundamental Outlook
In a report published Friday, UBS analyst Robin Farley upgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: HOT) from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $75.00 to $85.00.
Farley noted that Starwood has a "favorable" fundamental outlook, especially following investor reactions to lack of share buybacks since last quarter. The analyst reported that China's RevPAR is improving up more than 3.5% in the fourth quarter and sees continued strength in North America. UBS added that Starwood has "ample flexibility on balance sheet for buybacks even if asset sales are more weighted toward later in the cycle."
The analyst wrote, "HOT understands investors want to see more share repo, and mgmt reiterated the value they see at these share levels. We believe whatever issues prevented share repo in last quarter will not be an issue after Q4 reporting restrictions are past. On asset sales, HOT's goal of $3B from '13-'16 implies pick up from current levels but mgmt sees transaction pace picking up and private equity back at the table in discussions."
Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts closed at $75.36 on Thursday and is currently up 3.04% at $77.65.
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