Starwood Hotels & Resorts considers its options, potential sale

NEW YORK – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide says its board of directors will explore “a full range” of strategic and financial options for the hotel company. Although the company did not cite specific actions, the possibilities could include a potential sale. Its shares jumped 8 per cent in premarket trading.

In a statement, the company said Wednesday that it has retained Lazard to assist in the process.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood also reported better-than-expected first-quarter financial results. Profit fell 28 per cent to $99 million, or 58 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 65 cents per share. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 57 cents per share.

Revenue fell 3 per cent to just under $1.42 billion. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.4 billion.

Looking ahead, the owner of Sheraton and St. Regis hotels expects its per-share earnings to range from 70 cents to 74 cents in the current quarter and it expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.94 to $3.04 per share.

Its shares jumped $6.88, or 8.5 per cent, to $87.68 in premarket trading an hour before the market opening.

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