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Does the Hilton IPO Signal More Growth for Hotel Stocks?

James Dennin, Kapitall: The newly announced Hilton IPO is expected to dwarf Twitter's. So do hotel stocks still have room available?

Typical wisdom holds that the markets can be rather subdued at the end of the year. This makes December a less attractive time for companies to go public, because the basic idea of a stock sale is to take advantage of enthusiasm to raise as much money for the company as you can. Therefore, year-end IPOs are typically a bit unusual. 

[Read more from Kapitall: IPO Buffett: Potbelly and Other Hot New Stocks on the Menu]

Unless you're taking part in the biggest year for IPOs in almost a decade – that is, since  2004 by Bloomberg's count. This year the IPOs keep on coming, with no sign of letting off. 

For one there are reports swirling that Chrysler is proceeding with its plans for a 2013 IPO, and that it could be completed before the end of the year. The deal hit some roadblocks as two of the company's biggest private shareholders – Fiat and the United Autoworkers Union – sparred over the terms of the deal. 

But an even larger IPO was announced this morning by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. One of the oldest and most storied hospitality chains in America – Hilton was purchased by the private equity firm Blackstone (BX) in 2007. Hilton had an enormous amount of debt which Blackstone refinanced, and hopes to cut down or even eliminate debt with new cash from the stock sale. 

Investing ideas

Hilton will be the second largest IPO of the year, right behind Plains GP Holdings (PAGP), and even larger than Twitter (TWTR)'s much discussed offering last month. Hilton and Blackstone hope to capitalize on a bull market, as well as a recovery in some of the major metrics that concern travel and hospitality providers.

With a company like Hilton – which owns a number of high-end brands such as Waldorf Astoria – higher consumer confidence among the wealthy is a particularly welcome development. 

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