Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Jnan Dash, Andreas Grabner, Lori MacVittie, Jim Kaskade

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hot Topic, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels and Marriott International

CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq:HOTT), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG), Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) and Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Hot Topic Holiday Comps Surge

Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq:HOTT) posted robust sales and comparable store sales (comps) results for the holiday season for the combined months of November and December. Moreover, the company maintained its guidance for the fourth quarter.

Hot Topic's comps for the nine weeks ended December 29, 2012, inched up 2.2% compared with 1.8% reported in the comparable year-ago period. The increase in comps was driven by a 1.6% rise in comps at the company's namesake stores and a 5.5% hike in Torrid stores.

Hot Topic's net holiday sales increased 4.0% year over year to $177.3 million, on account of robust sales in Torrid concepts stores as well as marginal improvement in the company's namesake stores. On a segmental basis, net sales inched up 0.8% year over year to $141.1 million at the company's namesake stores, while Torrid stores registered a 18.8% increase with sales of $36.2 million.

Positive results during the holiday season mainly came from the new merchandising and sourcing strategies at Torrid. Further, the company continued to benefit from favorable customer response to the fashion apparel and tee businesses, which largely made up for the drag in the accessories category.

Year-to-date Sales Data

Year to date, the company's total sales grew 4.2% to $686.0 million driven primarily by strong sales at Torrid concepts. Net sales improved 1.7% year over year to $514.2 million at the company's namesake stores, while Torrid stores registered a 12.3% increase with sales of $171.8 million.

Comps were up 3.4% compared with the 1.3% rise reported in the year-ago period. This increase was driven by 3.5% and 3.0% comps growth at the company's namesake stores and Torrid stores, respectively.

Outlook Intact

23 cents27 cents21 cents25 cents

Hot Topic also provided initial guidance for fiscal 2013 (52 weeks ended February 1, 2014), anticipating a 30% – 35% increase in earnings compared to fiscal 2012. This guidance assumes comp sales to increase in the low-single-digit range.

Further, management remains confident about its business prospects in 2013, anticipating continued growth from its Torrid segment. Buoyed by such an overwhelming outlook, the company reaffirmed its plan to open 40 new Torrid stores, 15 new Hot Topic outlets and an additional 5 to 10, newly introduced Blackheart stores in 2013.

Share Repurchase Program

December 2012$9.86$25 million

$25.0 million

Record Deals for Starwood in 2012

Leading hospitality company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) recently declared that amid such global macroeconomic turmoil, it has entered into maximum number of hotel agreements in 2012.

At the end of 2012, the company inked nearly 125 new hotel management and franchise deals, which reflect an increase of 13% year over year. Of its total pipeline, 20% of hotel deals are consistent with the company's brand conversion strategy.

Earlier, the company projected to unveil 71 new hotels with nearly 18,500 guestrooms located across 20 countries by the end of 2012.

The company will be able to beef up its portfolio with these new deals and hotels, especially in the emerging markets. In 2012, the company entered into the maximum number of hotel deals in the developing markets. In order to ramp up its presence in the flourishing Chinese market, Starwood Hotels is set to introduce its 125th hotel in the country in 2013.

Moreover, in a concerted endeavor to strengthen its full-service, luxury/upscale brands portfolio the company opened various significant properties in 2012. The company has unveiled new hotels such as Blue Mountains in Australia, Metropole Palace in Serbia and Twelve at Hengshan in Shanghai under its luxury brand St. Regis. The company's W brand also had a strong year with its debut in Paris, Bangkok and Singapore.

Besides, the company's upscale brand Sheraton, Westin and Le Méridien also witnessed the opening of various new properties including The Westin New York Grand Central in Manhattan, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, The Westin Lake Las Vegas, Le Méridien Arlington, The Westin Snowmass Resort, Sheraton Vitoria in Brazil and Le Méridien Mexico City in Mexico.

The company's mid-market brands, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element also grew in 2012. Starwood introduced highest number of hotels under its Four Points by Sheraton brand in 2012. In addition, Aloft made its debut in Zhengzhou Zhengdong in China and San Jose in Costa Rica. The company also launched its Element brand in South Florida with the opening of its first hotel in Miami International Airport.

Starwood Hotels competes with major hoteliers like InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG), Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) and Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR).

Starwood currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (a short-term 'Hold' rating).

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...