Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ( HOT) reported an 81% plunge in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, but were able to meet analysts' expectations.

The company earned $6 million, or 3 cents a share, down from $32 million, or 17 cents, in the year-ago period.

Revenue declined 24% to $1.12 billion from $1.47 billion, while worldwide revenue per available room, or RevPar, sank 23.5%.

To offset these step declines, Starwood reduced its selling, general and administrative expenses by 28.5% to $93 million during the quarter.

Starwood also forecast earnings in the range of 14 to 20 cents a share in the second quarter, but pulled its previous full-year guidance of $1.10 a share, citing "uncertainty in the global economy."

On Wednesday rival Wyndham Worldwide ( WYN) surprised investors with stronger-than-expected first-quarter results, which boosted shares of the hotel sector across the board.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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