Host Hotels ( HST) posted second-quarter results that handily beat estimates, as the company benefited from strong room-rate pricing in a healthy U.S. lodging environment. Host Hotels, the largest U.S.-based lodging real estate investment trust, said Wednesday that funds from operations rose 56% to $203 million, or 39 cents a share, from $130 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding a charge of 4 cents a share associated with refinancing costs, FFO totaled 43 cents a share, beating the 38 cents that analysts expected, according to Thomson First Call. Analysts did not include the 4-cent charge in their estimates. Funds from operations, a common REIT performance metric, subtracts gains from property sales from net income and adds back depreciation and amortization expenses. Host's net income totaled $343 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $96 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. Total revenue increased 27% year-over-year to $1.2 billion. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 35% to $347 million. Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, increased 9.7% at hotels open at least a year, while operating margins increased 210 basis points, the company said. Most of the RevPAR growth was driven by higher rates. Host said it expects comparable RevPAR to increase 9% to 10% in the third quarter and 8.5% to 10% for the year. Operating margins are expected to increase 200 to 250 basis points for the year at all of its hotels. For the full year, Host forecast FFO per share of $1.49 to $1.55. Analysts expect FFO of $1.55 a share. In a research note, Calyon Securities analyst Smedes Rose said the full-year guidance looks conservative, particularly given the strong RevPAR performance expected at the 27 hotels Host recently purchased from Starwood ( HOT). RevPAR at these hotels increased 13% year over year.