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Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 29, 2012 1:00 pm ET


Timothy A. Bonang - Director of Investor Relations

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John G. Murray - Principal Executive Officer, President, Chief Operating Officer, Assistant Secretary and Executive Vice President of Reit Management & Research LLC

Mark Lawrence Kleifges - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Treasurer and Executive Vice President of Reit Management & Research LLC


Jeffrey J. Donnelly - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Daniel P. Donlan - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division

Philip J. Martin - Morningstar Inc., Research Division



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Good day, and welcome to the Hospitality Properties Trust Fourth Quarter and Year End 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. This call is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to the Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Tim Bonang. Please go ahead, sir.

Timothy A. Bonang

Thank you, and good afternoon. Joining me on today's call are John Murray, President; and Mark Kleifges, Chief Financial Officer. John and Mark will make a short presentation, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session. I would note that the recording and retransmission of today's conference call is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of HPT.

Before we begin today's call, I'd like to read our Safe Harbor Statement and set some ground rules concerning certain questions. Today's conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. These forward-looking statements are based on HPT's present beliefs and expectations as of today, February 29, 2012. The company undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to the forward-looking statements made in today's conference call other than through filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.

In addition, this call may contain non-GAAP financial measures, including normalized funds from operations, or normalized FFO. A reconciliation of normalized FFO and EBITDA to net income, as well as components to calculate AFFO, CAD or FAD, are available in our supplemental package found in the Investor Relations section of the company's website.

Actual results may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause those differences is contained in our Form 10-K to be filed with the SEC and in our Q4 supplemental operating and financial data package found on our website at Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.

Before I turn the call over to John and Mark, you should be aware that TravelCenters of America, or TA, has not completed its year end reporting, and accordingly, the company's remarks today will not refer to TA's fourth quarter or full year 2011 results, and we will not take questions related to TA's fourth quarter or full year 2011 performance.

And now, I'd like to turn the call over to John Murray.

John G. Murray

Thank you, Tim. Good afternoon, and welcome to our Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. Today, HPT reported fourth quarter normalized FFO of $0.78 per share. As Tim mentioned, we are not yet able to update you on TA's performance for the fourth quarter or full year. As you may recall, TA's performance was very strong through the first 3 quarters of 2011, with EBITDAR up $21.8 million or 11.5% year-over-year at our 185 travel centers. Because TA is not a large accelerated filer under SEC reporting rules, it has until March 15 to report.

Turning to HPT's hotel investments. Fourth quarter RevPAR increased 6.9% at our 288 hotels, driven by a 1.2 percentage point increase in average occupancy to 67.2%, and a 4.9% increase in average daily rate to $94.63. Compared with the 2010 fourth quarter, RevPAR increased in all regions, with double-digit gains in the New England and Pacific regions due to strong revenue performance at our hotels in Massachusetts and California, but only modest improvement in the West, North Central and South Atlantic regions as a result of weaker performance at our hotels in Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. Our Park Plaza, Country Inns & Suites, Courtyards, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites branded hotels each generated RevPAR growth in excess of 10% this quarter versus last year.

During the quarter, we had 41 hotels under significant renovation, including 9 hotels in each of our Marriott portfolios, 18 hotels in our IHG portfolio, 4 Hyatt Place hotels and 1 Radisson. The impact of these renovations, primarily from reduced occupancies because rooms were out of service, was significant as RevPAR was up 8.6% on a comparable basis for non-renovation hotels and was down 5.3% at comparable renovation properties.

Average daily rate growth was 4.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase in each of our hotel portfolios and for 12 of our 14 brands this quarter compared to last year, as our operators continued to manage guest mix and push rate during peak travel periods. Despite an unsteady macro economic environment, we have seen consistent occupancy rate and RevPAR improvement each month in 2011 compared to 2010, and we continue to press our managers to focus on revenue management. Our managers' 2012 RevPAR forecast for our hotels are in the range of 5% to 8% increases, and the average GOP margin increase is forecast to be 200 basis points.

There is cautious optimism about ongoing lodging recovery as a result of constrained room supply growth, continued steady room demand and increases in room rates and GOP margins. Although below trend economic growth continues to create uncertainty about the sustainability of the lodging recovery, we continue to see steady growth, and a greater share of that growth from rate than occupancy, which improves margins.

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