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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report), the leading global hospitality company, has recently transferred its headquarters from Stamford, CT to Dubai, UAE for one month. This was done with the clear intent of focusing more on Starwood’s growing international portfolio and exploring new development opportunities in the Middle East countries.

Starwood’s 200 top executives from U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America are now relocated in Dubai to manage the company’s key operations. The company has chosen Dubai as temporary headquarters, given its promising growth opportunity and inspiring economic performance. It is a perfect fit for leisure as well as business travelers.

Commencing its journey in 1963, Starwood now owns 45 hotels in the Middles East with as many as 14 properties exclusively in Dubai. The company is expecting a 70% increase in business of its Middle East portfolio in the coming five years.

Previously in June 2011, Starwood had also shifted its headquarters in China for one month. These relocations reflect the company’s strategy to concentrate more on the fast growing emerging markets in order to ramp up its business in those key areas.

Starwood has recently reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of 70 cents, breezing past the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a nickel, but slightly below the year-ago level of 71 cents. Quarterly revenues increased 0.1% year over year to $1,533 million in the quarter, with a modest rise in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in all regions. Improving trends in the North American business, significant international exposure and portfolio restructuring should also augur well for Starwood.

Starwood currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another hotel company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN - Analyst Report) recently declared its fourth quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents per share and up 34% year over year. Wyndham currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

There are various other hoteliers who are also trying to expand their businesses further, including Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report) and Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Snapshot Report) which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), respectively.

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