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Extended Stay Expands in Charlotte, Buys Rock Hill Hotel

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Extended Stay America, Inc. STAY announced that it has expanded its presence in the Charlotte area by acquiring a property in Rock Hill, SC. Notably, this property would mark the company’s eighth hotel in Charlotte. Suitably located at 1835 Canterbury Glen Lane, the hotel is in close proximity to the I-77 business corridor and is convenient for the business travelers.

Like most other Extended Stay hotels, Extended Stay America Rock Hill will provide varied amenities starting from fully-equipped kitchens for guests to prepare their own meals to pet-friendly rooms. The company is known for the distinguished services it provides to its guests.

However, the lack of exposure in the emerging markets limits the company’s revenue growth potential. To this end, Extended Stay is focusing on the expansion of its footprint through acquiring new properties as well selling assets to franchisees.

Shares of the company have rallied 20.2% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 4.1%.

Acquisition as a Strategic Growth Plan

The recent hotel opening underscores Extended Stay’s strategic plan of expansion through acquiring new properties. Although the company is not engaging in rigorous acquisition strategy, it is planning to complete the purchase of one hotel during the second quarter and another in the third quarter. Also, the company believes that the cost from acquisitions would be slightly less for the new-builds, which will facilitate its margins.

Asset Disposition Bodes Well

Notably, the purchase of the hotels in 2018 is met with 1031 proceeds from the company’s prior asset sales. Asset sales are in line with the company’s efforts to strengthen its financial flexibility and focus more on core operation. The sale of assets should also help Extended Stay to grow, without any direct ownership of selective assets. Notably, a higher concentration of franchise fees reduces earnings volatility and provides a more stable growth profile. Additionally, asset sales allow the company to protect its current liabilities with a combination of cash and liquid assets.

In February, Extended Stay announced the sale of the Austin property for $44.8 million, which was carried out in March 2018. Also, the company continues to be in active negotiations to sell up to 45 additional hotels during 2018.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Extended Stay carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector include Marriot Vacations Worldwide VAC, Las Vegas Sands LVS and Melco Resorts MLCO. Marriot Vacations carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), whereas Las Vegas and Melco sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Marriot Vacation, Las Vegas, Melco’s earnings for 2018 are expected to grow 22.3%, 21.4% and 44.6%, respectively.

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