Back to top

Analyst Blog

Leading hotelier, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report), is set to unveil a property under its largest luxury brand Sheraton in Dohuk, Kurdistan Autonomous Region, Iraq in early 2014. In this regard, the hotelier partnered with Brilliant Role Group’s subsidiary Mase Co LLC.

This property – Sheraton Dohuk Hotel – will mark the entry of Starwood-branded property in Iraq. We believe that this property, boasting a total of 202 guestrooms and several other amenities, will create a strong guest base, going ahead.

The country’s emerging economy buoyed by its enormous oil reserve and growing GDP caught the attention of the hotelier. Apart from the Sheraton Dohuk Hotel, Starwood has three other hotels in the pipeline in Iraq including Sheraton Erbil Hotel, Aloft Erbil and Four Points by Sheraton Erbil, scheduled to be opened in 2015.

Starwood has been focusing on the rapidly growing Middle East markets for quite some time. Beginning in 1963, Starwood now owns as many as 50 hotels in the region and is expected to add more than 30 properties in the pipeline over the next few years.

As per the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of tourists traveling to the Middle East is expected to reach 136 million by 2020. The emergence of the region as a business and leisure hub promises more growth opportunities for the global hotel chain.

In its 70-years' journey, Sheraton, one of Starwood’s strongest brands, has gained strength and popularity owing to guest satisfaction. The company is continuously trying to drive the brand’s potential and has invested $8 billion for its worldwide expansion. This opening takes the company a step closer to fulfilling its dream to operate 500 Sheraton properties by the end of 2015.

Starwood currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some players in the hotel industry, which look attractive at current levels, include Hyatt Hotels Corp (H - Snapshot Report), China Lodging Group, Limited (HTHT - Snapshot Report) and Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
UTD THERAPE… UTHR 117.83 +28.51%
TRIQUINT SE… TQNT 20.67 +6.52%
RF MICRO DE… RFMD 12.47 +6.04%
VASCO DATA… VDSI 14.77 +4.68%
BANCO DO BR… BDORY 15.53 +3.95%