Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. said today that it currently expects its fourth quarter 1998 pro forma funds from operations (FFO) to be approximately $1.40 per share or about 65 percent above the 1997 fourth quarter actual FFO of 85 cents per share. Starwood now expects its pro forma FFO to be approximately $4.70 per share for 1998, compared to consensus estimates of $4.80 and 1997 actual FFO of $3.13 per share. The adjustment is primarily due to delays in the opening of the company`s Harrison County, Indiana gaming vessel, ``The Glory of Rome``, the nation`s largest riverboat casino, which commenced operations on November 20 but is not expected to reach full capacity until January 1999.
The company also said that it was revising the range of its 1999 earnings per share estimates to $1.50 - $2.00 per share from the previously expected range of $1.80 - $2.00 per share. EPS growth for 1999 is still expected to exceed the company`s annual earnings per share growth target of 25%. Any EPS estimate at this time is inherently subject to significant uncertainties due to a number of variables, including the timing and interest rates achieved in contemplated refinancings.
``We have accomplished a great deal in 1998 and have made enormous progress in laying the foundation for solid future performance,`` said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman & CEO of Starwood. ``The performance of our lodging operations for the fourth quarter remains strong and ahead of our expectations.``
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. through its Sheraton, Westin and Caesars subsidiaries, is one of the leading hotel and gaming operating companies in the world. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is the largest real estate investment trust in the United States. Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. are paired and trade together with shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
(NOTE: This release contains certain statements that may be deemed ``forward-looking statements`` within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with the following: the pending restructuring of Starwood and Starwood Hotels and Resorts (the ``Trust``); the Trust`s continued ability to qualify for taxation as a REIT; Starwood`s integration of the assets and operations of ITT and Westin; completion of future acquisitions and dispositions; the availability of capital for acquisitions and for renovations; execution of hotel and casino renovation and expansion programs; the ability to maintain existing management, franchise or representation agreements and to obtain new agreements on current terms; competition within the lodging industry and the gaming industry; the cyclicality of the real estate business, the hotel business and the gaming business; foreign exchange fluctuations; general real estate and national and international economic conditions; political, financial and economic conditions and uncertainties in countries in which Starwood owns property or operates; the ability of Starwood, owners of properties it manages or franchises and others with which it does business to address the Year 2000 issue, and the costs associated therewith; the adoption by several European countries of the euro as their national currency; and the other risks and uncertainties set forth in the annual, quarterly and current reports and proxy statements of the Trust and Starwood. Starwood undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)