Starwood Hotels & Resorts, ticker symbol HOT, is about as hot as it gets, Cramer said Thursday. In fact, he called the company “one of the sexiest stories out there.”
Starwood , owner and operator of hotels like St. Regis, W, Le Meridien and Westin, reported a 13-cent beat off a 52-cent-a-share basis, with revenues rising 7.5 percent year-over-year and revenue per available room, the lodging business’ key metric, up 10.1 percent.
Cramer said this was a product, not just of American consumers and businessmen hitting the road again, but of travelers the world over, as HOT earnings about half its profits from outside the U.S. The company’s strategy of focusing on the upscale helped, too, as did its incredibly strong loyalty program, which generates about 40 percent of the room nights.
Starwood’s also taking share, and more and more becoming a manager and franchiser of hotels rather than a real-estate holder. In 200, HOT owned 70 percent of the hotels it ran. Now that number’s down to 25 percent.
The stock’s returned 60 percent since Cramer blessed it last March at $38.80, but he thinks it could go still higher. How much higher? Maybe his interview with CEO Frits Van-Passion will offer an answer. Watch the video here.
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