In "Blue Skies for Blackstone," Leslie P. Norton points out that Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) has outpaced its peers and the stock market recently. See why its success looks to continue, as well as why shares could return 20 percent in the next 12 months.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI) had its price target raised by analysts at Canaccord Genuity from $110.00 to $130.00 on Monday. They now have a "buy" rating on the stock. 28.7% upside from the previous close of $100.99. This rating was viewed 628 times. Read More. Tweet This.
NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI) had its price target raised by analysts at Susquehanna to $128.00 on Thursday. 26.7% upside from the previous close of $100.99. This rating was viewed 409 times. Read More. Tweet This.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
and playing the down market now.. long time holder here not worried.. get my dividend next week :)OK I know it is a distribution..who cares ??? reinvested at lower price is fine with me...stocastics and market overbought..
2nd close above 3....nice to see but so volatile hard to tell...chart has been looking very good..still seems maybe news is anticipated....
Would Hilton buy Starwood? Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta demurs
Apr 29, 2015, 1:36pm EDT
Washington Business Journal
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Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta is bullish on the company's new brands, but was less open in Wednesday's earnings call about exploring acquisitions.
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta is bullish on the company's new brands, but was less open in… more
All anyone wanted to talk about on Hilton’s earnings call Wednesday morning was one of the company’s biggest competitors.
It’s not surprising, given that Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) dropped the bomb on its own earnings call this morning that it will “explore … strategic and financial alternatives” and it has hired an investment bank to help it do so. That includes an acquisition, a source told the Wall Street Journal.
But is newly public Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) in acquisition mode? The company hopes to be deemed investment-grade this year, and even if the rating doesn't pan out, Hilton plans to begin returning capital to investors by the second half of this year assuming the board signs off.
CEO of the Year 2014: Chris Nassetta
Hilton launches new lifestyle brand, Canopy, at Pike & Rose
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Which is not to say that either of those goals would preclude a deal, but if an acquisition prevented either or both, that would not be “a positive,” Nassetta said.
Nassetta took half a dozen analyst questions on Hilton’s potential interest in acquiring Starwood, and each time hammered home his faith in the company’s more organic growth strategies, including the launch in the past year of Curio — a collection brand — and the upcoming rollout of Canopy, an “accessible lifestyle” brand.
“Whatever brand or portfolio of brands that might be out there in play, we’re going to look at it through the lens [of], does it fit strategically and make us better where we are, and does it allow us to accelerate our growth over time,” Nassetta said. “Because whatever it is, big or small, there are always risks in doing things that are inorganic versus organic.”
Growing through new brands that emphasize conversions and franchises has been particularly beneficial, Nassetta said. Launching Curio only cost in the “single-digit millions,” he said, and brought 11,000 rooms online or into the pipeline.
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“The math is unbelievably compelling,” he said. “When we look at other individual brand opportunities, and we have looked at those in those cases, we usually found we were better off doing it organically, because that was going to drive better returns for shareholders. We have not seen returns that justified taking action.”
Nassetta also said he couldn’t see pursuing an acquisition in order to prevent one of its big competitors from picking up market share.
“I don’t wake up in the middle of the night losing sleep over that,” he said. “[An acquisition] is something I don’t think we should do in a defensive way ever.”
Pressed on whether The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX), which still owns a majority of Hilton after the 2013 IPO, could make a play for Starwood, Nassetta referred those questions to the private equity firm.
Hilton’s earnings picture for the first quarter was positive, with a 22 percent increase over the same period last year. A few other highlights from the call:
Within the next year, Hilton hopes to launch another new brand in the economy space that can take the place of Hampton Inn, which has moved up in class since Hilton repositioned those properties. The company expects it to be “a mass scale brand globally, with 2,000 hotels open,” Nassetta said.
Curio has approximately 40 properties in the brand or in development, including pending announcements in Instanbul and Hamburg. The Astor Hotel in Paris will also be brought into the Curio fold. Canopy, the “accessible lifestyle” brand that will open in, among other places, Pike & Rose in Rockville next year, has 15 properties in development or under letter of intent.
On the assets front, Hilton expects to close soon on a deal to buy The Cypress in Cupertino, California, using the last of the proceeds from the sale of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City as part of its 1030 exchange. The company has also agreed to sell Hilton Sydney for
MUTUAL FUND SNAPSHOT
Top Janus Balanced Picks Include Apple, MasterCard, and AbbVie
Marc Pinto of Janus Balanced makes the case for Apple and other mega-caps in
By MICHAEL VALLO
April 29, 2015 6:21 a.m. ET
Professional bond investors often think they are a step ahead of their shoot-from-the-hip cowboy colleagues on the stock side, especially when it comes to spotting red flags. Whether you buy into that theory or not, canny stockpickers acknowledge that keeping an eye on the credit markets is a good idea.
In fact, Marc Pinto, co-manager of Janus Balanced (ticker: JABAX ), attributes his fund’s category-beating performance, in part, to his daily conversations with
Blackstone Group: The asset manager is another company that is boosting its market share in a growing industry. Blackstone ( BX ) focuses on alternative investments, a subsector that is growing at a faster rate than the asset-management industry overall. Specialities include private equity, real estate, funds of funds and distressed credit. Blackstone, a limited partnership, distributes more than 85% of earnings to its unit holders and shares yield 6.7%. The yield varies depending on the company’s earnings generated from management fees and returns from its private equity portfolio, but is usually in the 5%-8% range. Pinto says the stock is trading around 16 times distributable earnings, the low end of its peer group’s average range of 16-18 times earnings per share. Pinto attributes some of the discount to the company’s limited partnership structure, which has different tax implications than a standard C corporation.