Starwood quarterly results beat Wall Street's view

, The Associated Press

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 15 percent, pulled down by a large charge. Its adjusted results and revenue topped Wall Street's view.

CEO Frits van Paasschen said in a statement that 2013 is looking to be "somewhat stronger" than last year, with global economic uncertainty giving way to increasing demand.

"We are poised to benefit from higher rates in North America and Europe where demand is growing but supply is already short. Even more important, the dramatic economic growth in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa is fueling demand for our brands worldwide," he said.

The company, which operates hotel chains under brands such as Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels and St. Regis, earned $142 million, or 72 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with $167 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

Removing impairment charges and other items, earnings from continuing operations were 70 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 65 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue was basically flat at $1.53 billion. Wall Street predicted revenue of $1.49 billion.

Worldwide systemwide revenue per available room for hotels open at least a year rose 4.1 percent on a constant dollar basis.

Revenue per available room, or revpar, is a key gauge of a lodging company's health. In North America, the figure increased 5.2 percent.

For the year, the Stamford, Connecticut company earned $562 million, or $2.86 per share. That's up from $489 million, or $2.51 per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue increased 13 percent to $6.32 billion from $5.62 billion.

Worldwide systemwide revpar for hotels open at least a year climbed 5 percent. The metric rose 6 percent in North America.

Its shares slipped 29 cents to $62.31 in premarket trading.

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