Starwood Reports Fourth Quarter 2008 Results

Full year depreciation and amortization would be approximately $355 million.

Full year interest expense would be approximately $232 million and cash taxes of approximately $100 million.

Vacation ownership and Residential, excluding the Bal Harbour project, is expected to generate approximately $25 million in positive cash flow, not inclusive of any sales of timeshare receivables.

The Company expects to open 80 to 100 hotels in 2009 (representing approximately 20,000 rooms).

For the three months ended March 31, 2009:

Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be $145 million to $160 million assuming:

  • REVPAR decline at Same-Store Company Operated Hotels Worldwide of 17% to 19% (14% to 16% in constant dollars).
  • REVPAR decline at Branded Same-Store Owned Hotels in North America of 27% to 30%.
  • Management and franchise revenues will be down approximately 15%.
  • Operating income from our vacation ownership and residential businesses will be down $10 million to $15 million.

Income from continuing operations, before special items, is expected to be approximately $3 million to $13 million, reflecting an effective tax rate of approximately 31%.

EPS before special items is expected to be approximately $0.02 to $0.07..

Special Items
The Company’s special items netted to a charge of $133 million (after tax) in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a charge of $11 million (after-tax) in the same period of 2007.

Starwood will be conducting a conference call to discuss the fourth quarter financial results at 10:30 a.m. (EST) today at (913) 312-0422. The conference call will be available through simultaneous web cast in the Investor Relations/Press Releases section of the Company’s website at[1] A replay of the conference call will also be available from 1:30 p.m. (EST) today through February 5, 2009 at 12:00 midnight (EST) on both the Company’s website and via telephone replay at (719) 457-0820 (access code 6866584).


All references to EPS, unless otherwise noted, reflect earnings per diluted share from continuing operations. All references to “net capital expenditures” mean gross capital expenditures for timeshare and fractional inventory net of cost of sales. EBITDA represents net income before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The Company believes that EBITDA is a useful measure of the Company’s operating performance due to the significance of the Company’s long-lived assets and level of indebtedness. EBITDA is a commonly used measure of performance in its industry which, when considered with GAAP measures, the Company believes gives a more complete understanding of the Company’s operating performance. It also facilitates comparisons between the Company and its competitors. The Company’s management has historically adjusted EBITDA (i.e., “Adjusted EBITDA”) when evaluating operating performance for the total Company as well as for individual properties or groups of properties because the Company believes that the inclusion or exclusion of certain recurring and non-recurring items, such as revenues and costs and expenses from hotels sold, restructuring and other special charges and gains and losses on asset dispositions and impairments, is necessary to provide the most accurate measure of core operating results and as a means to evaluate comparative results. The Company’s management also uses Adjusted EBITDA as a measure in determining the value of acquisitions and dispositions and it is used in the annual budget process. Due to guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Company now does not reflect such items when calculating EBITDA; however, the Company continues to adjust for these special items and refers to this measure as Adjusted EBITDA. The Company has historically reported this measure to its investors and believes that the continued inclusion of Adjusted EBITDA provides consistency in its financial reporting and enables investors to perform more meaningful comparisons of past, present and future operating results and provides a means to evaluate the results of its core on-going operations. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not intended to represent cash flow from operations as defined by GAAP and such metrics should not be considered as an alternative to net income, cash flow from operations or any other performance measure prescribed by GAAP. The Company’s calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may be different from the calculations used by other companies and, therefore, comparability may be limited.

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