Wyndham Worldwide Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Wyndham Worldwide (WYN)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 25, 2012 8:30 am ET


Margo C. Happer - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Stephen P. Holmes - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

Thomas G. Conforti - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Joseph Greff - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Steven E. Kent - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Carlo Santarelli - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Charles Patrick Scholes - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

Christopher Agnew - MKM Partners LLC, Research Division

Nikhil Bhalla - FBR Capital Markets & Co., Research Division

Harry C. Curtis - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division



Welcome to the Wyndham Worldwide Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

I would now turn the call over to Margo Happer, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. You may begin.

Margo C. Happer

Thank you. Good morning. Thank you for joining us. With me today are Steve Holmes, our CEO; and Tom Conforti, our CFO. Before we get started, I want to remind you that our remarks today contain forward-looking information. This information is subject to a number of risk factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. These risk factors are discussed in detail in our form 10-Q filed April 25, 2012 with the SEC.

We will also be referring to a number of non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation of these measures to GAAP is provided in the tables to the press release. It is also available on the Investor Relations section of our website at wyndhamworldwide.com. Steve?

Stephen P. Holmes

Thanks, Margo, and good morning, everyone. I'm pleased to report we had another great quarter as we continue to execute at a high level in an uncertain global economic environment. Second quarter revenues increased by over 4% and adjusted EBITDA was up over 10%. Adjusted EPS was up 36% and came in $0.02 above the top end of our guidance range.

Wyndham Hotel Group and Wyndham Vacation Ownership each delivered double-digit EBITDA growth. I'm also pleased with the efforts of our Wyndham Exchange and Rental teams, which was in line with our expectations, producing stable results despite the economic challenges in Europe and limited growth in the broader timeshare industry.

We continue to deploy capital to drive value for our shareholders. So far this year, we've spent nearly $70 million [ph] on dividends and $400 million on share repurchases. Our second quarter weighted average diluted share count decreased by $23 million from the same period last year. From our inception as a private company on August 1, 2006 through yesterday, we repurchased 73.8 million shares at an average price of $32.60 per share.

Equally important for long-term shareholder value is our ongoing commitment to invest in our business to drive earnings growth and increased cash flow in the years to come. Our baseline sustainable free cash flow guidance of $600 million to $700 million assumes CapEx of approximately $200 million, about half of which is used to fund growth projects such as Apollo and our hotel business; rci.com and Vacation Rentals reservation and website integration in our Exchange and Rental business; and Voyager, a program to optimize our reservation system in our Vacation Ownership business. We also continued to selectively evaluate the potential acquisitions, which we will only pursue if they're strategically and economically compelling.

Now moving to our business unit review. The Wyndham Hotel Group had another great quarter, with adjusted EBITDA growth of 12% and domestic RevPAR gains of nearly 8%. We made some significant development headway in the second quarter, many a [ph] deal with Hospitality Properties Trust or HPT, a 20-hotel portfolio comprising 3,000 rooms throughout the U.S. All of the properties will be rebranded as Wyndham Hotels, with the remaining 16 properties to be rebranded Hawthorn Suites. The conversions are scheduled to occur next week, providing growth for 2 of our brands and adding 20 properties to our managed portfolio. We are pleased to partner with HPT and hope to work more closely with them in the years to come. We look forward to updating you on similar deals going forward.

We are aggressively pursuing many tracks to grow the total number of hotel rooms in our system, including investing in our brand's market position, focusing on multi-deal contracts, both for conversion and new construction, and increasing retention of our existing franchisees. Essential to all of our strategies is improving our system contribution and the resulting value proposition to our franchisees. We will achieve this primarily through the Apollo initiatives, which we have spoken about before. We've made significant progress over the past 2 years with one of our key Apollo initiatives, brand.com. Revenue and room nights across the brand portfolio are up approximately 20% from this channel year-to-date, in part due to improved content and web functionality.

On the international front, over the next 4 years, we -- excuse me, over the next 5 years, we expect annual system size growth of 8% in EMEA, 15% in Latin America, and our highest growth market will be APAC, where we expect our system size to almost double by 2016. This is from an exceptionally strong base in the region, particularly in China where we have close to 60,000 rooms. The long term vision is to have a footprint in China that rivals our presence in the U.S. We are also seeking to grow in India and other countries such as Singapore and Thailand on an opportunistic basis.

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