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Stock update: Ashford, Pebblebrook, Supertel
September 30 2011

In this week’s update of public hotel company news, Ashford increases its stock repurchase program, Pebblebrook indicates it is temporarily stepping away from acquisitions, and Supertel looks to bolster its balance sheet.

Highlights
  • Ashford Hospitality Trust has increased its stock repurchase program by US$141.6 million.
  • Like several other REITs, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust isn’t intending on any near-term hotel deals.
  • Supertel Hospitality’s asset sales are an attempt to clean debt off its balance sheet.

 

Each Friday, HotelNewsNow.com provides a roundup of news from the hotel industry’s publicly traded companies. Today’s update includes: Ashford Hospitality Trust, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, and Supertel Hospitality.

Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index
The
Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index closed Thursday at 1697.55. It was at 1652.70 as of 10:30 a.m. eastern time Friday.

Ashford Hospitality Trust
Real-estate investment trust Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT) on Tuesday said its board authorized a
US$141.6-million increase in its stock purchase program, bringing the total to US$200 million (excluding fees, commissions and all other ancillary expenses.) 

“Our strategy continues to be one of preparedness in the event that the stock market turbulence continues,” the REIT’s CEO, Monty J. Bennett, said in a news release. “In the past, we implemented share repurchases as the best use of our capital to create shareholder value, and are inclined to do so again if we see an opportunity.”

The Dallas-based company’s stock price closed Thursday at US$7.29 per share and is down 24.46% year-to-date.

Hotel Assets Ad Will Appear Here

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
Like many other REITs, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is temporarily backing away from making more hotel acquisitions.

During a recent webcast of the company’s first institutional investor and analyst meeting, Pebblebrook’s chairman and CEO Jon Bortz said the recent downward swing in the capital markets has all but dried up the deal market, at least for those assets that don’t require a major repositioning.

As a result, “Clearly, the REITs have backed away in a meaningful way, including ourselves,” he said.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Pebblebrook’s stock closed Thursday at US$15.66 per share, down 22.93% year-to-date.

• Read “Pebblebrook execs talk deal strategy.

Supertel Hospitality
For the most part, the ups and downs of Supertel Hospitality’s stock is largely out of the hands of Supertel’s executives, said Will Marks, an analyst at JMP Securities who follows the stock. That said, the company has announced a plan to help bolster its balance sheet.

Supertel last week said it received a notice from Nasdaq warning that its stock price has closed below US$1 per share for 30 consecutive business days, a violation of listing requirements.

The REIT, Marks said, previously announced a strategy of selling underperforming properties during the next 12 to 18 months in an effort to reduce debt. Debt related to the properties held for sale totaled US$28.36 million as of 30 June, Supertel disclosed in a 10 August U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“Growth of the same-store portfolio has been slow, but as they sell underperforming assets, and if the economy picks up, they should be OK,” Marks said.

• Read “Supertel stock could be delisted.

Norfolk, Nebraska-based Supertel’s stock is down 51.27% year-to-date, closing Thursday at 77 cents per share.

Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.

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