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Loews Hotels & Resorts, a wholly owned-subsidiary of Loews Corporation (L - Analyst Report), inked a deal with The Doyle Collection to buy The Back Bay Hotel in Boston. The transaction is expected to culminate next month. The signing of this deal takes the company another step closer toward achieving its goal of owning 30 hotels in the next five years.

This property comprises 225 guestrooms, meeting and event space, two dining options, Cuffs, an Irish Bar and The Stanhope Grille and is located on the corner of Berkeley and Stuart Streets.

Apart from nearly doubling its hotel count, the company expects a threefold increase in its net income in the next three years. As a part of the goal, Loews Hotels & Resorts acquired two hotels - Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. and Renaissance Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, California - in 2012. It has another two hotels - The Loews Chicago Hotel, scheduled to open in January 2015 and Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando, scheduled to open in 2014 – under construction. With this buy, Loews tally reaches 21 hotels.

Earlier, Loews had stated that it intends to acquire and develop properties in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Dallas, Toronto and Seattle with its capital in hand. These moves are a testimony of its plans.

These consistent efforts on the part of Loews helped it hit the 52 week high of $43.41 on Jan 22.

Loews has managed to post positive earnings surprises in 5 of the 10 quarters with an average beat of 6%. Most recently, in its third quarter, it delivered an earnings surprise of 21.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth quarter 2012 is currently pegged at 37 cents while the same for 2012 is $1.80. Loews is expected to release its fourth-quarter and full year 2012 results on Feb 11.

Loews presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other companies from the same industry like Ageas SA/NV (AGESY) carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO - Analyst Report) and FBL Financial Group Inc. (FFG - Snapshot Report) carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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