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Hilton Opens First Hotel in Belize, Expands Curio Collection

Zacks

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT is known for its scale, size and commercial platform. The company has a portfolio of more than 100 hotels and resorts in Latin America and is actively pursuing growth opportunities in the area.Also, the company has fortified its global hold apart from expanding in the domestic market.

In line with this expansion strategy, Curio Collection by Hilton recently launched Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club in Belize, an independent country bordered by Mexico in the north. Marking the company’s first property in the country and one of the first branded resorts in Belize, Mahogany Bay features 205 cottage and villa-style rooms and offers various amenities. The hotel lies in close proximity to the San Pedro Airport and San Pedro, the only town on the island.

Notably, Curio Collection by Hilton was launched in 2014 and has been performing really well ever since. The brand currently has a global portfolio of more than 40 remarkable, upper upscale hotels and resorts. The latest hotel launch not only adds to the company’s brand portfolio but will also help it gain traction in untapped markets.

The new hotel is also part of Hilton Honors, which is one of the largest loyalty programs. With about 70 million members, this network has created an extremely valuable asset for the company. In fact, about 57% of all occupancy per night takes place through this membership program. The company is focused on making multiple enhancements to its loyalty program in order to make it the most customer-centric program, driving incremental value for guests and the overall system.


In addition to enhancing customer loyalty, Hilton maintains strong fundamentals and cash flow position, which are beneficial for the company’s shareholders. In order to return more to shareholders, Hilton has transformed into a capital-light operating business backed by the spin-off of a portfolio of hotels and resorts as well as its timeshare business.

On Jan 4, Hilton completed the spin-off of Park Hotels & Resorts, Inc. PK and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV, resulting in three independent, publicly-traded companies. On the same day, the company put the previously announced 1-for-3 reverse stock split into effect. All these developments are expected to make Hilton a fee-based, capital efficient and resilient business, with substantial global expansion potential.

Post the split, the company’s shares have rallied nearly 32.3% to date and the S&P 500 market has gained 16.3%.




However, macroeconomic fluctuations, unfavorable currency translation and competition from larger hoteliers like Marriott International, Inc. MAR might dent Hilton’s top line.

Nonetheless, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company can continue gaining traction on aggressive expansion plans. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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