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Host Hotels (HST) Set to Beat on Q1 Earnings: Stock to Gain?

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We expect Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (HST - Free Report) to beat earnings estimates when it reports first-quarter 2016 results on Apr, 29 before the market opens. The release is likely to lead to stock movement.

Last quarter, this Bethesda, MD-based lodging real estate investment trust (“REIT”) delivered an 11.43% positive surprise. In fact, the company has a decent surprise history, having posted positive surprises in all the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 6.49%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first quarter funds from operations (“FFO”) per share is currently pegged at 38 cents.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Host Hotels has the right combination of two key ingredients for an earnings beat. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) to beat estimates, and Host Hotels has the right mix.

Zacks ESP:  Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, in this case respectively 39 cents and 38 cents, stands at +2.63%.  This is a meaningful indicator of a likely positive surprise for the company.

Zacks Rank: Host Hotels carries a Zacks Rank #3.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

What's Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Host Hotels has a solid portfolio of upscale hotels across lucrative markets in the U.S. The company stands to gain from the strength in employment & business investment as well as its strategic capital-recycling program.

The majority of the company’s domestic markets are projected to perform well based on advance group bookings, less capital disruptions and lower supply. This is expected to help improve the company’s revenue per available room (RevPAR). In addition, adequate liquidity and a decent balance sheet are expected to support first-quarter 2016 results.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other stocks in the REIT sector that you may want to consider, as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to report a positive surprise this quarter:

Essex Property Trust Inc. (ESS - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.14% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company will report results on Apr 28.

Vornado Realty Trust (VNO - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.81% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report first-quarter 2016 results on May 2.

Taubman Centers, Inc. (TCO - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +3.53% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release results on May 2.

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income. All earnings per share numbers presented in this write up represent FFO per share.

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