The Surprise in Starwood Hotels and Starwood Timeshares Quarterly Report

For the third quarter of 2009, Starwood Hotels and Starwood timeshares has reported EPS at $.22 as compared $.62 for the same quarter in 2008. And while this comes as no surprise to anyone inside or outside the industry, there was at least one important bit of information in the report I found particularly interesting.

Here’s a summary of some of the notable points from their Quarterly Report, especially as related to Starwood timeshares:

  • Operating income from Starwood vacation ownership (Starwood timeshare) and residential declined $47 million compared to 2008.
  • Frits van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood says referring to both the timeshare and the hotel segments of the company’s business: “Over the past twelve months we have focused on cost containment and debt reduction, which positions us well to ‘Own the Upswing’. Our increasingly fee-based, capital-efficient business model will grow as REVPAR recovers and as our pipeline translates into unit additions. Our owned hotels are skewed towards the high end and have been particularly hard-hit over the past twelve months, implying they are poised for a strong rebound as the world economy recovers. And with half of our hotels outside of the United States, we will benefit from secular growth in international markets …With the $6 billion Sheraton Revitalization Program nearly complete, I can’t think of a better time to aggressively re-launch the brand than into the early stages of an upcycle.”
  • Starwood timeshare reported a revenue decrease of 31.7 percent to $125 million as compared to 2008. Starwood also implemented what it calls “significant cost reductions” in its timeshare division, (which most notably came in the form of timeshare sales staff layoffs, one would speculate, not in decreased services to timeshare owners).
  • The average sale price of Starwood timeshare dropped by nearly 22 percent, which Starwood notes is primarily due to increased sales of lower value timeshares …

And here is one of the most significant point to be gleaned from Starwood’s report in regards to timeshare sales. In addressing which factors contributed to Starwood timeshare’s drop in average sale price, they reported a higher percentage of biennial sales.

Very noteworthy fact here, don’t miss its significance: Consumers still wanted to become Starwood timeshare owners. They still wanted to buy timeshare and to enjoy the benefits of timeshare vacations. And when the economy makes it challenging, they just change their game plan and opt to enjoy the properties every other year, rather than annually. Bottom line—they didn’t give up their dream of timeshare vacations; they simply adjusted the schedule.
Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the full report.