Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) today reported results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 1999.
Diluted earnings per share for the quarter—excluding pre-opening charges associated primarily with the company`s new hotel at Boston`s Logan Airport—rose 13 percent to $.17, compared with $.15 for the same period last year. Third quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, pre-opening expense and non-cash items (EBITDA) increased 7 percent to $161 million from $150 million in the 1998 period. Income from continuing operations was $42 million versus $41 million in the comparable 1998 quarter, with diluted earnings per share (including pre-opening expenses) of $.16 versus last year`s $.15.
The increase in EBITDA was driven by newly acquired full-service hotels and strong operating results at the company`s owned hotels in Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Short Hills (New Jersey) and the Big Island of Hawaii.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increases were strong at Hilton`s U.S. owned and equity hotels. Excluding Hawaii, RevPAR at these hotels was up 4.6 percent, and 4.0 percent when including Hawaii.
Advance bookings and general business trends for the fourth quarter are favorable for most of the company`s major markets, particularly New York and New Orleans, which will benefit from Millennium activity, and Chicago, which is expected to rebound from recent market-wide softness in group attendance. Additionally, fourth quarter results will benefit from a full quarter`s contribution from the Hilton Logan Airport in Boston, which opened September 15.