NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Wyndham Worldwide Corp. jumped on Wednesday after the lodging company's first-quarter results beat Wall Street's forecasts, driven by a better-than-expected performance by its timeshare segment. Wyndham's stock surged $3.12, or 35.6 percent, to $11.88 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $2.55 and $24.43 during the past 52 weeks. The Parsippany, N.J.-based company said its vacation ownership segment was boosted by $67 million of previously deferred revenue that was recognized during the quarter. Wyndham's overall vacation ownership interest sales declined, however, due to a decision by the company in December to scale back that business due to the tight credit markets. While tour flow for the timeshare segment dropped, Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst C. Patrick Scholes noted that higher volume per guest rates imply that potential buyers who do take a tour are more likely to make a purchase. Analysts noted that lower net interest during the quarter also helped Wyndham beat Wall Street's expectations. Wyndham's earnings for the quarter ended March 31 rose 7 percent to $45 million, or 25 cents per share. That's up from $42 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding restructuring costs and other one-time items, Wyndham said its profit would have totaled $74 million, or 41 cents per share, up from an adjusted profit of $62 million, or 35 cents per share, last year. Revenue slipped 11 percent to $901 million, from $1.01 billion in the first quarter of 2008. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who generally exclude one-time items, forecast a profit of 35 cents per share on revenue of $838.9 million. In its hotel group, revenue per available room ¿ a key gauge of a hotelier's performance ¿ fell 11.3 percent, excluding the impact of foreign currency. "We sense there had still been considerable skepticism about the sustainability of Wyndham's timeshare earnings heading into the report," said Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Woronka in a note to investors. "We think the main question now is, after right-sizing the business for a severe downturn, will Wyndham be able to "re-grow" its businesses accretively in a recovery?" Also, Wyndham affirmed its guidance for the full-year 2009. The company continues to expect adjusted earnings between $1.61 and $1.85 per share and revenue of $3.5 billion to $3.9 billion.
Analysts predict earnings of $1.60 on revenue of $3.44 billion. Goldman Sachs analyst Steven Kent expressed some surprise that Wyndham did not lower its guidance, in light of further deterioration in the overall economy. "However," he said, "this could be a sign of the strength in Wyndham's overall business model, but mostly in the stable franchising and vacation exchange and rental businesses." For the second quarter, Wyndham expects its adjusted profit to range from 36 cents to 41 cents per share. Wall Street forecasts a profit of 36 cents per share.