Starwood Hotels Second-Quarter Profit Climbs on Wider Margins

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT), owner of the luxury St. Regis and W brands, said second-quarter earnings climbed as the company’s margins widened.

Net income rose to $137 million, or 71 cents a share, from $122 million, or 62 cents, a year earlier, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said today in a statement.

“We exceeded our profit expectations -- despite slower revenue growth and exchange rate headwinds,” Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen said in the statement.

Starwood is benefiting from rising demand for its brands, such as Sheraton and Westin, from individual business travelers and vacationers in the U.S., according to Patrick Scholes, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. in New York.

“They are well positioned to take advantage of individual business travel -- their bread and butter -- which is doing very well, particularly in the U.S.,” Scholes, who has a hold rating on the stock, said before the report. “Leisure is also doing fairly well, particularly domestically.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at nbrandt@bloomberg.net; Dalia Fahmy in Berlin at dfahmy1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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