Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Reports Third Quarter 2023 Results
Company Raises Full-Year 2023 EPS Outlook, Grows Development Pipeline by Another 12%
PARSIPPANY, N.J., October 25, 2023 – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) today announced results for the three months ended September 30, 2023. Highlights include:
Global RevPAR grew 3% compared to third quarter 2022 in constant currency.
System-wide rooms grew 3% year-over-year.
Development pipeline grew 4% sequentially and 12% year-over-year to a record 237,000 rooms.
Signed over 230 contracts, an increase of 8% year-over-year, including 60 new construction projects for ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham.
Returned $134 million to shareholders through $105 million of share repurchases and a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per share.
“We recently announced our Board of Directors unanimously rejected an unsolicited stock-and-cash proposal by Choice Hotels to acquire our company. Our Board of Directors, together with our financial and legal advisors, closely reviewed Choice’s latest proposal and determined, for multiple reasons, that it is not in the best interest of our shareholders. They remain confident that our standalone growth prospects offer superior, risk-adjusted returns to Wyndham shareholders,” said Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer. “Supporting that belief are our third quarter results, which were highlighted by continued growth in global RevPAR, ongoing domestic and international organic net room growth and another 8% increase in hotel contracts awarded to franchisees driving our development pipeline to a record 1,930 hotels. Our economy brands gained market share domestically amidst a backdrop of normalizing U.S. leisure demand, and international occupancy continued to recover. Adjusted EBITDA grew in line with our expectations, we generated strong free cash flow and we returned significant capital to our shareholders. We remain focused on our growth strategy, which includes continued system expansion through our ECHO Suites by Wyndham brand and further improvements in franchisee retention, as well as the multi-year benefit expected from the U.S. infrastructure bill. We’re enthusiastic about our ability to deliver exceptional value to our shareholders, guests, franchisees and team members in the months and years ahead.”
Third Quarter Financial Results
Fee-related and other revenues was $400 million compared to $375 million in third quarter 2022 reflecting global RevPAR and net room growth, higher license and ancillary fees as well as the pass-through revenues associated with the Company’s global franchisee conference in September, which was held for the first time since 2019.
The Company generated net income of $103 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, compared to $101 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, in third quarter 2022. The increase was reflective of higher adjusted EBITDA in the Company’s hotel franchising segment and a lower effective tax rate, partially offset by higher interest expense. Adjusted diluted EPS grew 8% reflecting higher net income and a lower share count due to share repurchase activity. Adjusted EBITDA increased 5% to $200 million primarily reflecting higher fee-related and other revenues as well as marketing fund variability. During third quarter 2023, the Company’s marketing fund revenues exceeded expenses by $17 million; while in third quarter 2022, the Company’s marketing fund revenues exceeded expenses by $12 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 3%, reflecting 1% growth in the U.S. and 6% 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 4% and 16%, respectively.
Third quarter global RevPAR grew by 3% in constant currency compared to 2022 reflecting a 1% decline in the U.S. and growth of 16% internationally. The Company had achieved record-breaking RevPAR in the U.S. during the preceding year due to COVID-impacted travel patterns. The Company’s U.S. economy brands gained market share of 100 basis points in the third quarter. Comparing to 2019 to neutralize for COVID-impacted travel patterns, U.S. RevPAR grew 9%, a 30 basis point acceleration from second quarter 2023 growth. International RevPAR growth was driven by higher occupancy levels and stronger pricing power in connection with COVID recovery, and compared to 2019 grew 45% on a constant-currency basis, a 120 basis point acceleration from second quarter 2023 growth.
On September 30, 2023, the Company’s global development pipeline consisted of over 1,930 hotels and approximately 237,000 rooms, representing a 12% year-over-year increase, including 16% growth in the U.S.
Approximately 69% of the Company’s pipeline is in the midscale and above segments.
Approximately 58% of the Company’s development pipeline is international.
Approximately 80% of the Company’s pipeline is new construction, of which approximately 34% has broken ground.
During third quarter 2023, the Company awarded 172 new contracts for its legacy brands, an increase of 4% year-over-year. Additionally, the Company awarded 60 additional new contracts for its ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand and, as of September 30, 2023, the total number of contracts awarded for the brand was 265, or nearly 33,000 rooms.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
As of September 30, 2023, the Company had $2.2 billion of long-term debt outstanding with a weighted average interest rate of 4.9%. The Company borrowed $110 million on its revolving credit facility during the third quarter and had an available borrowing capacity of $631 million after considering $9 million of outstanding letters of credit as of September 30, 2023. The Company ended the quarter with a cash balance of $79 million and approximately $710 million in total liquidity.
The Company generated net cash provided by operating activities of $77 million and free cash flow of $67 million in third quarter 2023.
The Company has pay-fixed/receive-variable interest rate swaps in place to hedge $600 million of the Term Loan B Facility, set to expire in the second quarter of 2024. During the third quarter of 2023, the Company executed $600 million of new forward starting interest rate swaps on the Term Loan B Facility, which will begin in second quarter 2024 and expire in 2028. The fixed rate of the new swaps is 3.8%.
Share Repurchases and Dividends
During the third quarter, the Company repurchased approximately 1.4 million shares of its common stock for $105 million. Year-to-date through September 30, the Company repurchased approximately 3.8 million shares of its common stock for $270 million.
The Company paid common stock dividends of $29 million, or $0.35 per share.
Rejection of Unsolicited Offer
On October 17, 2023, the Company announced that its Board of Directors unanimously rejected a highly conditional, unsolicited stock-and-cash proposal by Choice Hotels International, Inc. (“Choice”) to acquire all outstanding shares of Wyndham. Wyndham’s Board of Directors, together with its financial and legal advisors, closely reviewed Choice’s latest proposal with a nominal value of $90 per share, comprised of 45% in stock and 55% in cash, and determined that it is not in the best interest of Wyndham shareholders to accept the proposal.
Full-Year 2023 Outlook
The Company is updating its outlook as follows to reflect the impact of third quarter share repurchase activity:
Year-over-year growth rates are not comparable due to the sale of the Company’s owned hotels and the exit of its select-service management business, both of which occurred during 2022, as well as the variability in its marketing funds due to the support that the Company provided to its owners during 2020.
The Company’s expectations for full-year 2023 marketing funds contribution to adjusted EBITDA is unchanged at $10 million. The Company expects fund revenues will outpace fund expenses by approximately $11 million during the fourth quarter.
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 Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. ET. Listeners can access the webcast live through the Company’s website at https://investor.wyndhamhotels.com. The conference call may also be accessed by dialing 800 225-9448 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 October 26, 2023. A telephone replay will be available for approximately ten days beginning at noon ET on October 26, 2023 at 800 839-6964.
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 9,100 hotels across over 95 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 858,000 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 24 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel®, La Quinta®, Baymont®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, Trademark Collection® and Wyndham®. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers approximately 105 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 https://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.
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 and restructuring charges. The Company claims the protection of the Safe Harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statements. 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, including inflation, higher interest rates and potential recessionary pressures; the worsening of the effects from the coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”); COVID-19’s 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, guests and team members, the hospitality industry and overall demand for and restrictions on travel the Company’s continued performance during the recovery from COVID-19 and any resurgence or mutations of the virus 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 businesses; the Company’s relationships with franchisees; the impact of war, terrorist activity, political instability or political strife, including the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine; 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, except as required by law.
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