Extended Stay America, Inc. (STAY - Free Report) reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth straight quarter in third-quarter 2018.
Adjusted earnings came in at 39 cents per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents. The bottom line grew 11.4% year over year on a drop in effective tax rate as well as lower depreciation and general and administrative expenses. Share repurchase also boosted earnings.
Detailed Revenue Discussion
Total revenues of $351.1 million in the third quarter were marginally ahead of the consensus mark of $346.8 million. The top line inched up 0.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by increase in RevPAR and franchise and management fee revenues, mainly offset by hotel dispositions. On a comparable company-owned basis, total revenues rose 2.3% in third-quarter 2018.
In the quarter under review, comparable system-wide RevPAR increased 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. The uptick was the result of a 0.5% improvement in average daily rate (ADR) and a 110-basis point (bps) rise in occupancy to 80.1%. Also, total company-owned RevPAR improved 2.7% and comparable company-owned RevPAR rose 2% to $57.15 in the quarter under review.
Behind the Headlines
Hotel operating margin in the quarter was 55.5%, reflecting a 170-bp decline from the prior-year quarter. The drop was due to an increase in payroll, reservation, marketing and maintenance expenses. Net income totaled $75.7 million compared with $66.3 million in the same period in 2017, marking an increase of 14.3%. The metric in the third quarter was favorably impacted by a lower effective tax rate, reduction in depreciation and general and administrative expenses along with gain from asset dispositions.
Cash and cash equivalents as of Sep 30, 2018, was $370.4 million compared with $113.3 million at the end of Dec 31, 2017. Total shareholders’ equity at the end of the third quarter was $1,318.5 million. As of Sep 30, 2018, total debt (net of unamortized deferred financing costs and debt discounts) amounted to $2,478.9 million, down from $2,541.9 million at the end of Dec 31, 2017.
Extended Stay invested roughly $57.8 million as capital expenditures in the quarter under review. This investment included approximately $22.4 million for new hotel development and conversions. On Oct 31, the company’s board of directors announced cash distributions totaling 22 cents per share, which is payable on Nov 29, 2018, to shareholders of record as of Nov 15, 2018. Extended Stay has bought back 0.6 million shares for $11.7 million during the quarter.
Extended Stay America, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
The company has updated guidance for 2018 that reflects the sale of 32 hotels in the third quarter of 2018 and expected disposition of 14 hotels in the fourth quarter of 2018. Extended Stay expects total revenues (including franchise and management revenues and asset dispositions) in the range of $1,271-$1,277 million compared with prior guidance of $1,257-1,279 million.
Moreover, comparable system-wide RevPAR is envisioned in the 1.75-2.25% band, up from prior range of 1-2.75%. Adjusted EBITDA is projected between $596 and $603 as compared with the prior guidance of $595 million to $610 million.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Extended Stay carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the Consumer-Discretionary sector are DISH Network Corporation (DISH - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Belmond Ltd. (BEL - Free Report) and Peak Resorts, Inc. (SKIS - Free Report) have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
DISH Network has an expected current-year earnings growth rate of 9.8%.
Belmond has a projected current-year earnings growth rate of 58.3%.
Peak Resorts has an expected current-year earnings growth rate of 342.9%.
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