Exceeds Top End of Full-Year Outlook and Reports Largest Pipeline in Company’s History
Company Provides Full-Year 2022 Outlook
Board Increases Share Repurchase Authorization by $400 Million
PARSIPPANY, N.J., February 15, 2022 – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) today announced results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2021. Highlights include:
S. RevPAR for the quarter exceeded 2019 levels by 9%, growing 58% versus 2020.
System-wide rooms grew 180 basis points year-over-year, including 70 basis points of growth in the U.S. and 350 basis points of growth internationally.
Diluted earnings per share for the quarter of $0.52 and net income of $48 million; diluted EPS for the full-year of $2.60 and net income of $244 million.
Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.69 for the quarter and adjusted net income of $64 million; adjusted earnings per share for the full-year of $3.16 and adjusted net income of $297 million.
Adjusted EBITDA of $131 million for the quarter and $590 million for the full-year.
Net cash provided by operating activities for the full-year of $426 million and free cash flow of $389 million.
Returned over $190 million to shareholders for the full-year through share repurchases and dividends.
“With a 9% U.S. RevPAR increase and another 340 basis points of domestic market-share gains versus 2019 – we were very pleased with our performance this quarter as each month saw stronger growth than the month prior,” said Geoffrey A. Ballotti, president and chief executive officer. “New COVID variants did not impact our domestic, drive-to leisure travel business and consumer demand portends a very busy Spring Break for our franchisees. We enter 2022 with strong occupancy trends in the U.S., our largest ever development pipeline and a multitude of new technology services and marketing programs to enhance our franchisees’ top and bottom lines. In addition, our Board authorized a quarterly dividend of $0.32 per share and increased our share repurchase authorization, which reflects the ongoing strength of the business and our strong free cash flow.”
Fourth Quarter 2021 Operating Results Fee-related and other revenues increased 43% to $314 million primarily reflecting strong ADR growth in the U.S., which drove fourth quarter U.S. RevPAR 9% above 2019 levels.
The Company generated net income of $48 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, an increase of $55 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, reflecting an increase in adjusted EBITDA and lower net interest expense. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $131 million, an increase of 126% versus 2020. The increase of $73 million reflects the increase in fee-related and other revenues and lower excess marketing spend, partially offset by higher volume-related expenses due to the ongoing recovery in travel demand.
During the fourth quarter 2021, the Company’s marketing fund expenses exceeded revenues by $8 million; while in fourth quarter 2020, the Company’s marketing fund expenses exceeded revenues by $26 million.
Full reconciliations of GAAP results to the Company’s non-GAAP adjusted measures for all reported periods appear in the tables to this press release.
The Company’s global system grew 180 basis points, reflecting 70 basis points of growth in the U.S. and 350 basis points of growth internationally. As expected, these increases included strong growth in both the higher RevPAR midscale and above segments in the U.S. and the direct franchising business in China, which grew 5% and 15%, respectively. Fourth quarter room openings recovered to 97% of 2019 levels globally reflecting a 21% increase in domestic additions. The Company also achieved its goal of a 95% retention rate for the full year 2021.
Global and international RevPAR began to lap the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2021, while the U.S. began to lap its onset in March 2021. As such, comparisons to 2019 (on a two-year, constant currency basis) are more meaningful when evaluating trends. On this basis, fourth quarter RevPAR in the U.S. exceeded 2019 levels by 9% while international RevPAR declined 19%. Global RevPAR recovered to 100% of 2019 levels. The 9% increase in the U.S. is primarily due to pricing power where average daily rate exceeded 2019 levels by 8%. The 19% international decline demonstrates sequential progress from a 25% decline in third quarter.
Fourth Quarter 2021 Business Segment Discussion
Hotel Franchising revenues increased 34% year-over-year to $270 million primarily due to the global RevPAR increase. Hotel Franchising adjusted EBITDA increased 66% to $128 million reflecting the growth in revenues and lower excess marketing spend, partially offset by higher volume-related expenses.
Hotel Management revenues increased 30% year-over-year to $122 million, including a $2 million increase in cost-reimbursement revenues, which have no impact on adjusted EBITDA. Absent cost-reimbursements, Hotel Management revenues increased $26 million, or 144%, to $44 million primarily due to the global RevPAR increase, as well as improved performance at the Company’s owned hotels. Hotel Management adjusted EBITDA increased $20 million year-over-year reflecting the revenue increases, partially offset by higher volume-related expenses.
Full-Year 2021 Operating Results Fee-related and other revenues increased 31% to $1,245 million primarily reflecting the recovery in travel demand and its impact on global RevPAR, as well as 2% growth in the Company’s global system size. Global RevPAR recovered to 88% of 2019 levels on a constant currency basis, including domestic RevPAR at 97% of 2019 levels.
The Company generated net income of $244 million, or $2.60 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $132 million, or $1.42 loss per diluted share, for the full-year 2020. Adjusted EBITDA for the full-year was $590 million, an increase of 76% versus 2020. The increase of $254 million in adjusted EBITDA primarily reflects the increase in fee-related and other revenues and marketing fund favorability, partially offset by higher volume-related expenses due to the recovery in travel demand throughout the year. The increase of $376 million, or $4.02 per diluted share, in net income reflects a further decline in after-tax special-item charges and lower net interest expense.
During full-year 2021, the Company’s marketing fund revenues exceeded expenses by $18 million; while in full-year 2020, the Company’s marketing fund expenses exceeded revenues by $49 million.
Development The Company awarded 655 new contracts this year. On December 31, 2021, the Company’s global development pipeline consisted of over 1,500 hotels and over 194,000 rooms, the highest level on record. The pipeline grew 5% year-over-year, including 3% domestically and 6% internationally. Approximately 65% of the Company’s development pipeline is international and 79% is new construction, of which approximately 35% has broken ground. Over 80% of the global development pipeline is in the midscale and above segments, including over 70% in the U.S.
Cash and Liquidity The Company generated $426 million of net cash provided by operating activities in the full-year 2021, compared to $67 million in 2020 and $100 million in 2019. The Company generated $389 million of free cash flow in the full-year 2021, which includes a benefit from the collection of prior year receivables that were outsized due to COVID deferrals.
At December 31, 2021, the Company had $171 million of cash on its balance sheet and over $900 million in total liquidity. The Company’s net debt leverage ratio was 3.2 times at December 31, 2021, within the Company’s 3 to 4 times stated target range, compared to 3.3 times at December 31, 2019.
Share Repurchases and Dividends During the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company repurchased approximately 994,000 shares of its common stock for $83 million at an average price of $83.42 per share. For the full-year 2021, the Company repurchased approximately 1.4 million shares of its common stock for $110 million at an average price of $80.60 per share. The Company’s Board of Directors recently increased the Company’s share repurchase authorization by $400 million.
The Company paid common stock dividends of $29 million, or $0.32 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2021 for a total of $82 million, or $0.88 per share, for the full-year 2021. The Company’s Board of Directors recently authorized a quarterly cash dividend of $0.32 per share of common stock beginning with the dividend that is expected to be declared in the first quarter of 2022.
Potential Sale of Owned Hotels During the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company decided to pursue the sale of its two owned hotels. As of December 31, 2021, the assets and liabilities of these owned hotels were reported in assets held for sale and liabilities held for sale on the Consolidated Balance Sheet. As a result of the plan to sell these owned hotels, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $6 million to reflect the expected value upon potential sale.
Full-Year 2022 Outlook The Company provided the following outlook for full-year 2022:
Net rooms growth of 2% to 4%.
RevPAR growth of 12% to 16% versus 2021, which is consistent with 2019 levels.
Fee-related and other revenues of $1.34 billion to $1.37 billion, a year-over-year increase of 8% to 10%.
Adjusted EBITDA of $605 million to $625 million, which is consistent with 2019 levels, and reflects a year-over-year increase of 3% to 6%.
Adjusted net income of $308 million to $320 million, which is consistent with 2019 levels, and reflects a year-over-year increase of 4% to 8%.
Adjusted diluted EPS of $3.28 to $3.40, based on a diluted share count of 93.9 million that excludes any share repurchases after December 31, 2021. Reflects growth up to 4% compared to 2019, and a year-over-year increase of 4% to 8%.
Free cash flow conversion from adjusted EBITDA of approximately 55%.
The Company views its growth in adjusted EBITDA compared to 2021 and 2019 as follows (in millions):
(a) Does not include any impact from the planned sale of the Company’s two owned hotels.
(b) Net income was $244 million and $157 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2019, respectively. Reconciliation can be found in the Table 7.
(c) In 2022, the expected termination payment of $84 million will be fully offset by the non-cash write-off of the related management contract intangible asset, as previously communicated. In 2021, includes (i) the effects of CorePoint’s prior asset dispositions, including $2 million of operational EBITDA and $19 million of termination fees and (ii) $4 million of operational EBITDA generated from assets yet to be sold. In 2019, includes (i) the effects of CorePoint’s prior asset dispositions, including $12 million of operational EBITDA and $7 million of termination fees and (ii) $9 million of operational EBITDA generated from assets yet to be sold.
(d) Primarily represents license fees paid by Travel + Leisure, the recovery of which is correlated to the recovery of vacation ownership sales at Travel + Leisure. This projection is based on internal estimates and will be updated as appropriate when Travel + Leisure provides an estimated vacation ownership interest sales projection for 2022.
More detailed projections are available in Table 8 of this press release. The Company is providing certain financial metrics only on a non-GAAP basis because, without unreasonable efforts, it is unable to predict with reasonable certainty the occurrence or amount of all of the adjustments or other potential adjustments that may arise in the future during the forward-looking period, which can be dependent on future events that may not be reliably predicted. Based on past reported results, where one or more of these items have been applicable, such excluded items could be material, individually or in the aggregate, to the reported results.
Conference Call Information Wyndham Hotels will hold a conference call with investors to discuss the Company’s results and outlook on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 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 866 831-8713 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 beginning at noon ET on February 16, 2022. A telephone replay will be available for approximately ten days beginning at noon ET on February 16, 2022 at 800 723-0479.
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. The Company uses these measures internally to assess its operating performance, both absolutely and in comparison to other companies, and to make day to day operating decisions, including in the evaluation of selected compensation decisions. 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 by the number of properties, with approximately 9,000 hotels across approximately 95 countries on six continents. Through its network of over 810,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 22 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel®, La Quinta®, Baymont®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, Trademark Collection® and Wyndham®. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also a leading provider of hotel management services. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers over 92 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com. The Company may use its website as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Disclosures of this nature will be included on the Company’s website in the Investors section, which can currently be accessed at www.investor.wyndhamhotels.com. Accordingly, investors should monitor this section of the Company’s website in addition to following the Company’s press releases, filings submitted with the Securities and Exchange Commission and any public conference calls or webcasts.
Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements related to the Company’s current views and expectations with respect to its future performance and operations, including revenues, earnings, cash flow and other financial and operating measures, share repurchases and dividends, restructuring charges and statements related to the coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”). Forward-looking statements include those that convey management’s expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates and projections at the time the Company makes the statements and may be identified by words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “goal,” “future,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “target,” “objective,” “estimate,” “projection” 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 the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. 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 continuation or worsening of the effects from COVID-19, its scope, duration, resurgence and impact on the Company’s business operations, financial results, cash flows and liquidity, as well as the impact on the Company’s franchisees and property owners, guests and team members, the hospitality industry and overall demand for travel; the success of the Company’s mitigation efforts in response to COVID-19; the Company’s performance during the recovery from COVID-19 and any resurgence or mutations of the virus; various actions governments, businesses and individuals continue to take in response to the pandemic, including stay-in-place directives (including, for instance, quarantine and isolation guidelines and mandates), safety mitigation guidance, as well as the timing, availability and adoption rates of vaccinations, booster shots and other treatments for COVID-19; concerns with or threats of other pandemics, contagious diseases or health epidemics, including the effects of COVID-19; the performance of the financial and credit markets; the economic environment for the hospitality industry; operating risks associated with the hotel franchising and management businesses; the Company’s relationships with franchisees and property owners; the impact of war, terrorist activity, political instability or political strife; risks related to restructuring or strategic initiatives; risks related to the Company’s relationship with CorePoint Lodging, Inc. (“CorePoint”) and the Company’s relationship with Highgate Holdings, Inc. and certain of its affiliates or subsidiaries following the closing of CorePoint’s sale; the Company’s ability to satisfy obligations and agreements under its outstanding indebtedness, including the payment of principal and interest and compliance with the covenants thereunder; risks related to the Company’s ability to obtain financing and the terms of such financing, including access to liquidity and capital; and the Company’s ability to make or pay, plans for, and the timing and amount of any future share repurchases and/or dividends, as well as the risks described in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and any subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise.