J.P. Morgan turned more cautious on the lodging industry, downgrading a number of the hotel operators and real-estate-investment trusts and maintaining just two companies in the sector as buy recommendations.
Greff emphasized that the move reflected recent share performances, higher valuations and a long industry cycle: The lodging stocks have limited space to move up from here.
For Hilton and Marriott, he said, the move "isn't a reflection on the quality of the business models (capital-light, fee-based, with steady, solid returns driving high returns on invested capital), or that of management, which are tops in the sector."
Within lodging this year, growth in U.S. revenue per available room, an industry benchmark, "has been lackluster," up 1% to 2% from a year earlier, the analyst wrote.
Greff sees "few compelling stocks in lodging in which we recommend investing fresh money today."
Just two overweight-rated stocks remain in his coverage. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH) - Get Report , where he sees a company-specific turnaround, and Extended Stay America (STAY) "can unlock additional value from current levels," he wrote.
Marriott was traded off 1.3% at $139.52, Hilton Worldwide eased 1.2% to $99, Ryman Hospitality declined 3.7% to $77.73, and CorePoint gave up 4.7% to $12.30.
Wyndham Hotels shares tacked on 0.7% to $60.26 and Extended Stay America fell 0.7% to $16.87.