Company Increases Dividend 16% and Provides Full-Year 2019 Projections
PARSIPPANY, N.J., February 13, 2019 – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) today announced results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2018. Highlights include:
Revenues increased 69% compared with fourth quarter 2017, to $527 million.
Net income was $43 million for the quarter; adjusted net income was $57 million, a 50% increase over the prior-year quarter.
Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.43 and adjusted diluted EPS were $0.58.
Further adjusted diluted EPS for the quarter (calculated as if our spin-off and our acquisition and integration of La Quinta had occurred on January 1) were $0.62.
Adjusted EBITDA increased 64% compared with the prior-year quarter, to $125 million, and grew 19% in constant currency and excluding our 2018 acquisitions and divestitures.
Further adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $134 million, consistent with our projection of $127 to $138 million.
Global RevPAR increased 8% compared with fourth quarter 2017 and increased 2% in constant currency and excluding our 2018 acquisitions and divestitures.
System-wide rooms grew 11% year-over-year and 2% excluding our 2018 acquisitions and divestitures.
“We finished 2018 with another strong quarter, capping off a year in which we delivered strong adjusted earnings growth fueled by solid RevPAR and rooms growth while acquiring and integrating La Quinta,” said Geoffrey A. Ballotti, chief executive officer. “We expect to continue to build on this strong foundation and are enthusiastic about our prospects for 2019 as we continue to execute our strategies and deploy capital in order to enhance value for shareholders.”
Fourth Quarter 2018 Operating Results
Revenues were $527 million, compared with $312 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Results reflect $198 million of incremental revenues from La Quinta. Excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, revenues increased 6% primarily due to higher license and other fees.
Net income was $43 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, compared to $92 million, or $0.92 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth quarter 2018 results include separation-related and transaction-related expenses, and fourth quarter 2017 results include impairment expenses and an $85 million tax benefit recorded as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Adjusted net income was $57 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, compared with $38 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth quarter earnings benefited from our revenue growth and a lower effective tax rate, partially offset by higher interest expense. Full reconciliations of GAAP results to our non-GAAP adjusted measures for all reported periods appear in the tables to this press release.
Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $125 million, compared with $76 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Results reflect approximately $37 million of adjusted EBITDA from La Quinta and are consistent with the Company’s projection of adjusted EBITDA of $117 million to $127 million in the fourth quarter. Excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, adjusted EBITDA increased 19% in constant currency, primarily reflecting the growth in revenues and the unfavorable effects in 2017 from hurricanes that affected our owned hotel in Puerto Rico.
The Company estimates that, if it had acquired and fully integrated La Quinta on January 1, its further adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter would have been $134 million, and its further adjusted diluted earnings per share would have been $0.62. See Tables 5 and 6 for additional information.
Full-Year 2018 Operating Results
Revenues were $1,868 million, compared with $1,280 million in 2017. Results reflect $513 million of incremental revenues from La Quinta. Excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, revenues increased 6%, primarily due to higher license and other fees, as well as 6% higher royalties and franchise fees.
Net income was $162 million, or $1.62 per diluted share, compared to $230 million, or $2.31 per diluted share in 2017. 2018 results include separation-related and transaction-related expenses, and 2017 results include impairment expenses and an $85 million tax benefit recorded as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Adjusted net income was $270 million, or $2.71 per diluted share, compared with $186 million, or $1.87 per diluted share, in 2017. 2018 earnings benefited from our revenue growth and a lower effective tax rate, partially offset by higher interest and depreciation expense.
2018 adjusted EBITDA was $507 million, compared with $383 million in 2017. Results reflect approximately
$89 million of adjusted EBITDA from La Quinta and are consistent with the Company’s projection of adjusted EBITDA of $500 million to $510 million for the full year. Excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, adjusted EBITDA increased 11% in constant currency, primarily reflecting the growth in revenues.
The Company estimates that, if it had acquired and fully integrated La Quinta on January 1, its further adjusted EBITDA in 2018 would have been $600 million, and its further adjusted diluted earnings per share would have been $3.02.
As of December 31, 2018, the Company’s hotel system consisted of approximately 9,200 properties and approximately 810,000 rooms, an 11% increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. Room count grew 2% year-over-year, excluding our 2018 acquisitions and divestitures. The Company’s development pipeline grew to over 1,400 hotels and approximately 180,000 rooms, a 21% year-over-year room increase, including approximately 25,000 La Quinta pipeline rooms and the removal of 2,000 Knights Inn pipeline rooms. The Company also increased its pipeline sequentially by 2% compared to the third quarter, including 3% domestic growth and 1% international growth. Approximately 54% of the Company’s development pipeline is international and 73% is new construction.
Fourth Quarter 2018 Business Segment Information
The following discussion of fourth quarter operating results focuses on revenue and adjusted EBITDA for each of our segments.
Revenues increased 37% compared to fourth quarter 2017, including $64 million of incremental revenues from La Quinta. Excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, revenues increased 8%, primarily due to $13 million of higher license and other fees. Adjusted EBITDA grew 51% to $122 million, including approximately $30 million of incremental adjusted EBITDA from the acquisition of La Quinta. In constant currency and excluding the impact from 2018 acquisitions and divestitures, adjusted EBITDA grew 16%, reflecting the growth in revenues.
Revenues increased $132 million compared to the prior-year period, reflecting $134 million of incremental revenues from La Quinta (including $124 million of cost-reimbursement revenues). Excluding the impact from the acquisition of La Quinta, revenues declined $2 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased $12 million compared to the prior-year quarter, reflecting $7 million of adjusted EBITDA from La Quinta and a decline in the unfavorable impact from the 2017 hurricanes on our owned hotels.
Share Repurchases – The Company repurchased approximately 1.25 million shares of its common stock for $60 million in the fourth quarter. In the seven months after the Company’s May 2018 spin-off, the Company repurchased 2.3 million shares of stock, or 2% of shares outstanding, at a cost of $119 million. At year-end, the Company had 98.1 million shares outstanding.
Dividend Increase – The Company’s Board of Directors authorized a 16% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to 29 cents from 25 cents per share, beginning with the dividend that is expected to be declared in the first quarter of 2019.
Reacquisition of Master License Rights for Days Inn in China – The Company recently announced that it has reacquired the exclusive direct franchising rights for its Days Inn brand in China. The Days Inn system in China consists of more than 70 hotels encompassing more than 12,500 rooms. The near-term earnings contribution from this transaction is not expected to be material, but the Company now owns the exclusive rights to directly franchise and grow the Days Inn brand in China.
The Company provided the following outlook for full-year 2019:
Revenues of $2.11 billion to $2.16 billion, an increase of 13% to 16%.
Adjusted net income of $301 million to $313 million.
Adjusted EBITDA of $605 million to $620 million, a year-over-year increase of 19% to 22%, as discussed below.
Adjusted diluted EPS of $3.05 to $3.17, based on an adjusted diluted share count of 98.7 million, which excludes future share repurchases.
Rooms growth of 2% to 4%.
Organic RevPAR growth of 1% to 3% in constant currency.
The Company views its year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA as follows (in millions):
More detailed projections are available in Table 6 of this press release. The Company is providing an outlook for net income, EBITDA and EPS only on a non-GAAP, adjusted basis because it is unable to predict with reasonable certainty the occurrence or amount of potential adjustments that may arise in the future.
Conference Call Information
Wyndham Hotels will hold a conference call with investors to discuss the Company’s results and outlook on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. ET. Listeners can access the webcast live through the Company’s website at www.investor.wyndhamhotels.com. The conference call may also be accessed by dialing 877-876-9174 and providing the passcode “Wyndham”. Listeners are urged to call at least five minutes prior to the scheduled start time. An archive of this webcast will be available on the website for approximately 90 days beginning at noon ET on February 13, 2019. A telephone replay will be available for approximately ten days beginning at noon ET on February 13, 2019 at 800 283-8486.
Presentation of Financial Information
Financial information discussed in this press release includes non-GAAP measures, which include or exclude certain items. These non-GAAP measures differ from reported GAAP results and are intended to illustrate what management believes are relevant period-over-period comparisons and are helpful to investors as an additional tool for further understanding and assessing the Company’s ongoing operating performance.
Exclusion of items in the Company’s non-GAAP presentation should not be considered an inference that these items are unusual, infrequent or non-recurring. Full reconciliations of GAAP results to the comparable non- GAAP measures for the reported periods appear in the financial tables section of this press release.
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) is the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with approximately 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 810,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in both the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 20 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel Inn & Suites®, La Quinta®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, The Trademark Collection®, and Wyndham®. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also a leading provider of hotel management services, with more than 400 properties under management. The Company’s award- winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers approximately 61 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rental properties globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include those that convey management’s expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates and projections at the time Wyndham Hotels makes the statements and may be identified by words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “goal,” “future,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “target,” “estimate” and similar words or expressions, including the negative version of such words and expressions. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Wyndham Hotels to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include statements related to the Company’s revenues, earnings, cash flow, dividends and other financial and operating measures.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward- looking statements include without limitation general economic conditions, the performance of financial and credit markets, the economic environment for the hospitality industry, operating risks associated with the hotel franchising and management businesses, the impact of war, terrorist activity or political strife, risks related to our spin-off as a newly independent company and risks related to our ability to obtain financing as well as the risks described in the section titled “Risk Factors” in Wyndham Hotels’ Registration Statement on Form 10 and in Wyndham Hotels’ other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Wyndham Hotels undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise.