said first-quarter net income attributable to the company came down to $90million, or 53 cents, from $99 million, or 58 cents per share, in the year-agoperiod.
Incomefrom continuing operations totaled $90 million in the first quarter, comparedto $99 million in the first quarter of 2015. Excluding special items, incomefrom continuing operations was $118 million, compared to $110 million year overyear.
TheS&P Capital IQ consensus EPS-per-share estimate for the first quarter was59 cents.
WorldwideSystemwide REVPAR for same-store hotels increased 1.0% in constant dollars, butdecreased 1.3% in actual dollars year over year. Systemwide REVPAR forsame-store hotels in North America increased 2.0% and 1.3% in constant dollarsand actual dollars, respectively.
Duringthe first quarter, the company signed 44 hotel management and franchisecontracts, representing about 7,000 rooms and opened 18 hotels and resorts withabout 3,700 rooms. At March 31, the company had approximately 540 hotels in theactive pipeline. The figure represents about 118,000 rooms.
Alsoduring the quarter, 18 new hotels and resorts representing approximately 3,700rooms entered the system, while seven properties representing about 1,300 roomswere removed.
AtMarch-end, the company had gross debt of $2.3 billion, cash and cashequivalents of $1.2 billion, including $64 million of restricted cash. Net debtof $1.1 billion compares to net debt of $1.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015.
Lookingahead, the hotel giant expects full-year EPS before special items to beapproximately $3.00 to $3.06. For the second quarter ending June 30, thecompany expects EPS before special items to be approximately 69 cents to 74 cents.
TheS&P Capital IQ EPS estimates for the second quarter and full year are73 cents and $2.81, respectively.