Starwood Hotels & Resorts

(HOT)

said it expects earnings to grow about 15% in 2001, but the company presented guidance that would fall a penny short of the consensus estimate for the first and third quarters of the year.

In the first quarter, the hotel owner expects to earn 30 cents a share. The current estimate carried by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, which surveyed 15 analysts, calls for earnings of 31 cents. Analysts and executives are slightly apart for the remaining quarters of 2001. Starwood expects to earn 65 cents, 58 cents and 73 cents in the second, third and fourth quarters, respectively. First Call lists profit forecasts of 65 cents, 59 cents and 71 cents for the last three quarters of the year.

Starwood expects to earn $2.60 a share for the year. The current consensus estimate for 2002 is $2.58. The company presented the guidance to analysts at a conference in White Plains, N.Y., the company's headquarters.

During regular trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

, Starwood gained $1.86, or 5.6%, to close at $34.90.