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Hilton logs YOY rise in Q4'17, FY'17 net income

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. reported net income for the fourth quarter of $841 million, compared to a net loss of $382 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Net income for full year 2017 was $1.26 billion, compared to $364 million in 2016. Net income includes a $665 million provisional tax benefit for tax reform that occurred in the fourth quarter.

EPS adjusted for special items was 54 cents for the fourth quarter and $2.00 for the full year, versus an EPS of 41 cents and $1.16, respectively, for the corresponding year-ago periods.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus EPS estimate for the quarter was 45 cents.

Fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA was $498 million, compared to $401 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2016. Full-year adjusted EBITDA came to $1.97 billion, up from $1.54 billion in 2016.

The company opened 123 hotels totaling 19,100 rooms in the fourth quarter and opened 399 hotels in full-year 2017 comprising 59,100 rooms. Hilton approved the development of 31,000 new rooms during the fourth quarter, taking its development pipeline to 345,000 rooms, an 11% growth from Dec. 31, 2016.

For 2018, the company expects its EPS adjusted for special items to be between $2.49 and $2.60, systemwide revenue per available room to increase between 1.0% and 3.0%, net income of between $802 million and $837 million, and adjusted EBITDA of between $2.03 billion and $2.08 billion.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus EPS estimate for the 2018 full year is $2.71.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Hilton's outstanding long-term debt, excluding deferred financing costs and discount, totaled $6.7 billion, with a weighted average interest rate of 4.2%.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $670 million, including $100 million of restricted cash and cash equivalents. There were no outstanding borrowings under the $1.0 billion revolving credit facility as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Hilton repurchased 3.5 million shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter at a cost of roughly $266 million and an average price of $74.67 per share. From the beginning of Hilton's share repurchase plan in March 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017, Hilton repurchased 13.5 million shares for about $891 million at an average price of $65.76 per share. In 2018, through February, Hilton repurchased 1.3 million shares of common stock for approximately $110 million at an average price of $84.01 per share, taking buybacks since the program's start in 2017 to more than $1 billion. Hilton's board of directors authorized an additional $1 billion for the program in November 2017.