83.79 +0.19 (0.23%)
After hours: 6:24PM EDT
|Bid||83.30 x 800|
|Ask||83.88 x 1800|
|Day's range||81.24 - 83.65|
|52-week range||44.30 - 115.48|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.26|
|PE ratio (TTM)||32.38|
|Earnings date||22 Jul 2020 - 27 Jul 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-dividend date||27 Feb 2020|
|1y target est||78.35|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In Whitstable, a British seaside town just over an hour’s drive from London, every day of the last two weeks has been like a busy summer weekend. Britons may be unable or unwilling to take international flights, but with the first easing of lockdown restrictions, they are more than happy to head to the beach to bask in the sun and eat fish and chips from the only restaurants open for now.Optimism that people everywhere will be eager to wander once travel restrictions end drove a rebound in airline and tour-operator stocks this week. But these hopes may be overdone. Lingering health-safety concerns and uncertainty about which borders will open mean many consumers on both sides of the Atlantic will stick close to home this summer.What’s more, they may favor a remote Airbnb rental instead of staying in a hotel, with the increased chances of running into other people in the lobby, elevator or restaurant. Globally, new bookings at Airbnb Inc. and Expedia Group Inc.’s Vrbo more than doubled from 916,000 in the week of April 5 to 2.08 million in the week of May 18, according to AirDNA, a short-term rental data provider.While the home-sharing site Airbnb has been hit hard by the travel trough, it said domestic bookings rose strongly in China, Korea, the Netherlands and Denmark in April, and they’ve increased significantly in Germany since the beginning of May. More telling, Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky told the Associated Press that 30% of bookings are currently within a 50-mile radius of people’s own homes — basically the next town over — up from 13% before the novel coronavirus outbreak, a trend he attributes to people’s aversion to flying for now.Areas that tourists can drive to, and classic local vacation spots, such as the mountains, lakes and beaches, are proving resilient.Take Germany, a country known for exporting summer tourists. Short-term rentals in the North Sea coastal district of Nordfriesland, which includes the island of Sylt, enjoyed an almost 800% increase in bookings between March 22 and May 17, according to AirDNA. And it’s unlikely they’re coming from abroad — in general just 16% of visitors are from outside Germany. By contrast, Berlin, a popular destination for foreign visitors, has seen just a 71% increase.It’s a similar picture in the U.S, where rentals near beaches in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas are proving popular. By contrast, cities such as New York and San Francisco are recovering more slowly. In this Covid-19 crisis, home-rental sites tend to have an advantage. For example, the majority of Airbnb hosts are in less populated areas, while most hotel chains have a bigger presence in cities. Some of the lodging giants have also ventured into the holiday rental market. Four years ago, French hotel giant Accor SA acquired Onefinestay, an upmarket competitor to Airbnb. One potential drawback with private rentals during the pandemic is that guests have to trust hosts are cleaning and disinfecting well. Hotel groups including Accor, Marriott International Inc., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and InterContinental Hotels Group Plc have announced stringent hygiene standards.Airbnb has responded with its own guidelines developed with former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, including advice on personal protective equipment and disinfectants. Hosts who sign up can leave their properties empty for just 24 hours between guests. Otherwise, they must respect a 72-hour “booking buffer.”For other people, getting away from home may mean taking their lodging with them. Provisional bookings at caravan and campsites in the U.K. look promising. In the U.S., there’s been a bump in demand for motor homes. Indeed, road trips may be one of the first holidays taken on both sides of the Atlantic.While all this pent-up demand is a good sign, it’s unlikely all the money usually spent on overseas travel will be recouped. Staycations aren’t really conducive to flagrant discretionary spending in normal times, but the coronavirus outbreak and lockdowns has brought job losses and economic hardship as well. That will eat into outlay. For a gauge of comparison, in 2017, the year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the decline in the pound meant many people avoided international travel, but only 60% of what would have been spent abroad was redirected to the U.K., according to analysts at Bernstein.With this crisis, the effect could be even more extreme if shops have to restrict the number of patrons, local tourist attractions can’t open or people remain nervous about going to restaurants or bars even with all of the necessary social distancing measures in place.Indeed, although Whitstable Holiday Homes, an agency for 39 houses, is enjoying its usual high level of bookings for July and August, further out, customers are waiting. A crucial consideration will be whether the town’s vibrant eateries will be open alongside the fish-and-chip shops.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sheryl Sandberg’s schedule was packed as the Facebook Inc. chief operating officer arrived in Portland, Oregon, for a summer forum of state prosecutors who were meeting to talk shop and share ideas with one another.Sandberg was slated to chat with the state officials about corporate citizenship in the digital age during a private morning session that Facebook had organized at the downtown Hilton Hotel in June 2018. She had a meet-and-greet with Utah’s attorney general, Sean Reyes, who had been considered the year before for the chairmanship of the Federal Trade Commission. Later, in another Facebook-organized meeting, Sandberg and other company managers talked about digital privacy with the state legal chiefs.The meetings took place three months after reports that Facebook had allowed the harvesting of personal data of millions of users without their permission, in what became known as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Federal and state lawmakers were escalating pressure on the company over the data breach as well as its dominance of the social-media market. The FTC and several state attorneys general had opened investigations.According to emails reviewed by Bloomberg, the sessions with Sandberg during the National Association of Attorneys General summer meeting were just one day in a multi year outreach program aimed at state prosecutors. Hundreds of emails were sent between company executives and state officials from 2017 to 2019, a sample of which were seen by Bloomberg. The emails were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Tech Transparency Project, which is part of the Campaign for Accountability, a political watchdog group.The emails show how Facebook went to great lengths to develop friendly relationships with powerful state prosecutors who could use their investigative and enforcement powers in ways that could harm Facebook’s revenue growth. In the end, the company’s charm offensive met with mixed results: Most of those attorneys general are now investigating the company for possible antitrust violations.Facebook isn’t unique among large companies in establishing contact with state attorneys general, and the Campaign for Accountability doesn’t allege wrongdoing by the social-media giant.“Attorneys general have massive jurisdiction over businesses and virtually everything they do,” said James Tierney, who served as Maine’s attorney general for a decade. “Every major industry should develop an understanding of attorneys general and reach out to them.”The state-level campaign played out as the company was also expanding its Washington presence to deal with allegations beyond antitrust and privacy, including that foreign interests had exploited its platform to interfere in elections.Over the last few years, the company has broken its own federal lobbying records, reconfigured the leadership of its policy shop, and brought Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to Washington to woo critics, including for meetings with President Donald Trump, who has accused the company of suppressing right-leaning perspectives.The Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit that has investigated technology companies, politicians and abortion-rights opponents, among others, obtained the emails from the AGs’ offices. Its executive director, Daniel Stevens, declined to name donors to the organization other than to say that they aren’t corporations and include the New Venture Fund, a public-interest philanthropy. Stevens’s group is also part of Freedom From Facebook & Google, an anti-big-tech coalition that counts Public Citizen and the Communications Workers of America as members.Facebook said the company has longstanding relationships with state AGs to collaborate on initiatives to keep the internet safe. “The country’s attorneys general take online safety seriously and so do we,” said Will Castleberry, Facebook’s vice president of state and local public policy. “That’s why for many years we have taken every measure to help them in protecting people and being the best partners we can be.” Facebook has worked with state prosecutors to promote online safety under a program that dates back to 2013.A Facebook spokesman said it’s continuing to work with state attorneys general on responding to the spread of Covid-19 and other issues.Allison Gilmore, the chief communications officer for the AGs’ association, confirmed that Facebook held a meeting at the same Hilton Hotel in June 2018, but said it wasn’t coordinated by the association, which doesn’t accept money from corporations to host events. “It is fairly common for outside organizations to schedule their own meetings adjacent to NAAG events, since more attorneys general are likely to be in attendance and available,” Gilmore said in a statement.While state attorneys general are law enforcement officials, they are also politicians and many see the post as a stepping stone to higher office. Corporate lobbyists often donate to their campaigns and schmooze with them at legal conferences, while also pressing their case on state regulatory issues.The emails show that Facebook offered to produce, distribute and promote public service messages for the state prosecutors. It hosted high-level meetings between the AGs and company executives. It also donated to the state prosecutors’ political campaigns and at times worked through them to craft state laws that might affect the company’s practices.Attorneys general looking to promote their ideas or accomplishments couldn’t do much better than Facebook’s offer of access to its platform. It has 1.7 billion daily users and can micro-target individuals by location and demographics. An Amazon.com Inc. spokeswoman said the company often works with state AGs on consumer protection issues such as privacy and price gouging, but said she isn’t aware it offers them any advertising discounts. The spokeswoman for the AGs’ association said she isn’t aware of any event hosting or filming of public-service ads by other large tech companies.Facebook and its employees, including Sandberg, donated more than $237,315 to various attorney general campaigns between 2014 and 2020, according to FollowTheMoney.org, which tracks political contributions at the state and local level. Microsoft Corp. and its employees gave $128,192 to attorneys general, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and its employees gave $120,686 and Amazon gave $43,945 in the same period, according to the campaign finance-tracking group.Facebook has also given nearly $579,000 to the Democratic and Republican associations of attorneys general between 2014 and 2018, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ database, which goes up to 2018. Google and Microsoft gave slightly smaller amounts in the same period.Spokespeople for Microsoft, Google and Amazon declined to comment on their donations.During the NAAG meeting in Portland, Facebook provided a top official as a speaker, according to the agenda. Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, joined a panel to discuss social media companies’ use of consumer data, along with former Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and a lobbyist for a technology trade group.In the private meeting later that day, in addition to Sandberg, Egan, former general counsel Colin Stretch and Castleberry also planned to be present, according to an email from Castleberry to Reyes, the Utah attorney general. They discussed “the specifics of CA,” an apparent reference to Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm with ties to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that obtained the Facebook data.‘Tremendous Corporate Partner’Alan Crooks, a political consultant for Utah’s attorney general, confirmed that Reyes met with Sandberg at the conference, but said the relationship with Facebook began years before. The social media giant had provided financial backing and expertise to a task force on internet crimes against children that the Utah attorney general and others were involved in. Facebook donated $25,000 to Reyes’s campaigns between 2014 and 2020, according to FollowTheMoney.org. In the same period, Microsoft gave Reyes $9,209, Amazon contributed $5,000 and Google $2,500.“Facebook has been a tremendous corporate partner” but it doesn’t get any special consideration in return for its help, Reyes said in a statement. “It is no secret that my office and other state AGs are currently investigating Facebook.”Reyes was potentially a well-placed ally for Facebook. In early 2017, Trump’s transition team included his name on its short list for FTC chairman, where he would have overseen both privacy and antitrust as one of Facebook’s most important regulators. The position went to Joe Simons, its current chairman.Facebook’s outreach helped it secure a key win in Vermont. In May 2019, an outside lobbyist for Facebook sent an email to Vermont Assistant Attorney General Ryan Kriger and State Representative Michael Marcotte, who were collaborating on the drafting of a new data-privacy bill. The lobbyist asked them to delay a vote on the bill so that Facebook could propose modifications. Kriger and Marcotte agreed to the delay, the emails show.Marcotte said it’s not unusual for lawmakers to delay a vote to seek input from organizations that have a stake in the outcome. “It was just to make it crystal clear what could be done and what can’t be done,” Marcotte said.During deliberations on the bill, Facebook asked to add language that ensures that companies could still use students’ information for marketing purposes as long as it wasn’t identifiable, according to Marcotte. While some lawmakers thought the added language was redundant, it eventually made it into a bill that became law in March, Marcotte said.Vermont DonationsFacebook donated a total of $8,580 to the campaigns of Vermont Attorney General Thomas Donovan between 2014 and 2020, according to FollowTheMoney.org. His office didn’t respond to requests for comment. In the same period, Google gave Donovan $4,000 and Microsoft gave $2,500.In February 2018, the emails show, Reyes and three other attorneys general encouraged their colleagues to participate in a video urging citizens to report suspected trafficking cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.“Our partners at Facebook are providing the production and distribution of a human trafficking awareness PSA, to be distributed via Facebook users beginning March 30,” the attorneys general wrote. The PSAs were filmed at an NAAG event and developed in conjunction with Thorn, an anti-human trafficking organization founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.At the time, Congress was pushing forward with a measure to narrow liability protections for websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. Tech companies, including Facebook, initially opposed the legislation because it weakened the much-loved Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects internet platforms from lawsuits over content posted by third parties.The ads allowed Facebook to show it could fight sex trafficking without having to change the liability shield. But after a barrage of criticism, Facebook changed course and supported the legislation. Trump signed the bill into law in April 2018.In a January 2017 email, Castleberry thanked Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office for participating in a video that encouraged consumers and organizations to maintain internet privacy and safety practices as part of an industry-backed public awareness campaign. He also sent instructions on how to use a “$3,000 coupon code,” so Wasden could advertise the video to constituents on Facebook without having to pay Facebook’s normal advertising rate. A spokesman confirmed that Wasden participated in the video, but said that his office didn’t use the promotional credit.Sandberg has donated $4,700 to AG campaigns between 2014 and 2020, according to FollowTheMoney.org. That doesn’t include $5,000 to Letitia James in her successful campaign for New York attorney general in 2018. The money was later returned, and James is now leading an antitrust investigation of Facebook, joined by 46 other AGs.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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A few companies are already giving the public a glimpse of life after stringent coronavirus restrictions wind down in earnest.
(Bloomberg) -- Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. has held discussions with lenders including Bank of America Corp. about a potential $500 million high-yield bond offering, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.The Tysons, Virginia-based real estate investment trust, which was spun out of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., has sought credit ratings ahead of what would be an inaugural junk bond, said the person, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. The company could launch a transaction as soon as this week, the person added.Spokesmen for Park Hotels and Bank of America declined to comment.Companies including cruise line operators, airlines and hotel chains have sold bonds in recent weeks to shore up liquidity as a global pandemic keeps travelers at home. Park Hotels, like many of its rivals, has seen the value of its shares plummet. Its stock has tumbled more than 65% year-to-date, giving it a market value of about $1.9 billion.In delivering first-quarter earnings earlier Monday, the company said it had suspended operations at 38 of its 60 hotels due to Covid-19, and had reduced the capacity at its remaining hotels to 15%. Its portfolio includes the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the New York Hilton Midtown.Park Hotels has fully drawn on its $1 billion revolving credit facility as a precautionary measure, and extended its maturity to December 2021, receiving covenant waivers from lenders in the process, it said.The company has $1.2 billion in current liquidity and a cash burn rate of $70 million per month in an extreme situation with all operations suspended. That leaves it well positioned to navigate the virus disruption, Thomas J. Baltimore Jr., the company’s chief executive officer said in a statement.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Hilton's CFO Kevin Jacobs weighs in on the outlook for hotels struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Bloomberg) -- Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Christopher Nassetta came out of a quarter in which revenue fell 13% from the prior year with a grim prediction: Things are going to get a lot worse.In April, revenue per available room, a measure of pricing and occupancy, declined 90% across the company’s 6,100 hotels, as travel bans and timid consumers hammered lodging businesses globally.Industry data show U.S. hotel demand began plummeting in March and bottomed out in April. It’s still anemic, and could remain so for months, if not years.“Given the timing of the pandemic, we expect a much more dramatic impact on our second-quarter results,” Nassetta said Thursday on a conference call with analysts. “A full recovery will take time and it could take several years to return to the hotel demand levels we experienced in 2019.”The pain has been widespread. Hotel companies including Marriott International Inc. and Hyatt Hotels Corp. have raised billions in bond issues and loyalty-points sales as they gird themselves for a long recovery. They’re also aligning themselves with public health experts and household cleaning brands in an early bid to convince travelers that their properties are safe.Hilton Taps Lysol Maker in Bid to Woo Guests With Cleaner RoomsIn the U.S., where most of Hilton’s hotels are located, occupancy rates have been hovering below 30%, according to data from STR, and nearly 70% of lodging workers have been furloughed or laid off.Hilton, which has suspended operations at 16% of its hotels, managed to post adjusted earnings per share of 74 cents for the first quarter, below the company’s pre-pandemic guidance.That looks good compared to Hyatt, which reported a loss in results announced May 6. Roughly 35% of the company’s hotels were closed as of April 30, with occupancy rates running around 15% at the properties that remained open.What comes next will depend on the pace of pharmaceutical research and consumer appetites for risk as the first wave of the coronavirus recedes. STR data already show a modest rebound in beach destinations people might drive to, like Galveston, Texas, and Daytona Beach, Florida.“The natural human reaction is, I want to move, I want to get out,” Nassetta said. “Maybe I’ll sort of move around the region. Maybe I’ll go to the region next door. Eventually, I’m going to cross the country. I’m going to get on a plane and go around the world. But I think it’s in that progression.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Franchisees of the most recognized names in accommodation are turning to the Federal Reserve for help, as concerns mount over being able to meet commercial mortgage payments.
With sanitation and disinfection at the forefront of preventing coronavirus spread in many publicly accessible spaces, Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE: HLT) is launching its CleanStay program to reassure guests at its 6,100 hotels of a safe, microorganism-free stay. The new initiative will roll out in alliance with Lysol producer Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) and the Mayo Clinic. Hit hard when the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive drop in travel, Hilton reported an approximate 45% plunge in revenue per available room in the first quarter of 2020.
Hilton (NYSE:HLT) announced today a new program to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. In a first for the hospitality business, Hilton will collaborate with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consult with Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and Team Member training to help Hilton guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to check-out.
Yahoo Finance speaks with Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta about the road ahead for the hotel giant post coronavirus.
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For the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton is sharing the official bake-at-home recipe for the brand’s beloved and delicious chocolate chip cookie, so at-home bakers can create the warm and comforting treat in their own kitchens.
Hilton (NYSE:HLT) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announced that the companies, in partnership with Hilton’s ownership community, will donate up to 1 million hotel room nights across the United States to frontline medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19.