Huazhu Group (NASDAQ:HTHT) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Huazhu Group (NASDAQ:HTHT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Huazhu Group Limited is a hotel operator and franchisor primarily in China. It primary focus on economy and midscale hotel segments,China Lodging Group’s brands include Hi Inn, HanTing Hotel, Elan Hotel, HanTing PremiumHotel, JI Hotel, Starway Hotel, Joya Hotel, VUE Hotel, Crystal Orange Hotel, Orange Hotel Select, Orange Hotel and Manxin Hotel. The Company’s busines includes leased and owned, manachised and franchised models. Lease and ownership model, the Company directly operateshotels typically located on leased or owned properties. Manachise model, the Company manages manachised hotels through the on-site hotel managers. Franchise model, the Company provides training, reservation and support services to the franchised hotels and collects fees from franchisees but does not appoint on-site hotel managers. Huazhu Group Limited, formerly known as China Lodging Group Ltd., is based in Shanghai, China. “

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Huazhu Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, October 12th. Daiwa Capital Markets reiterated a sell rating on shares of Huazhu Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. Credit Suisse Group cut Huazhu Group from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 17th. Benchmark reiterated a buy rating and issued a $35.00 price objective (down previously from $40.00) on shares of Huazhu Group in a research report on Thursday, August 22nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut Huazhu Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their price target for the company from $43.00 to $40.00 in a research report on Friday, September 13th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $35.92.

NASDAQ:HTHT opened at $37.08 on Wednesday. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $35.18 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $34.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 103.00, a PEG ratio of 3.66 and a beta of 1.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.46, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a current ratio of 0.53. Huazhu Group has a 1 year low of $25.40 and a 1 year high of $45.39.

Huazhu Group (NASDAQ:HTHT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 21st. The company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.86 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. Huazhu Group had a return on equity of 14.10% and a net margin of 9.02%. Huazhu Group’s revenue was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.98 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Huazhu Group will post 0.81 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HTHT. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Huazhu Group by 72.1% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 52,823 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,226,000 after buying an additional 22,137 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Huazhu Group by 6.6% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 187,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,880,000 after buying an additional 11,600 shares in the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd increased its position in shares of Huazhu Group by 32.1% in the second quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 12,099 shares of the company’s stock valued at $439,000 after buying an additional 2,942 shares in the last quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC increased its position in shares of Huazhu Group by 247.9% in the second quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 17,356 shares of the company’s stock valued at $629,000 after buying an additional 12,367 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its position in shares of Huazhu Group by 20.2% in the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 25,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $928,000 after buying an additional 4,300 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 47.61% of the company’s stock.

About Huazhu Group

Huazhu Group Limited, together with its subsidiaries, develops and operates leased and owned, manachised, and franchised hotels primarily in the People's Republic of China. The company operates hotels under the Hi Inn, HanTing Hotel, Elan Hotel, Orange Hotel, HanTing Premium, Starway Hotel, JI Hotel, Orange Hotel Select, Manxin Hotel, Crystal Orange Hotel, Joya Hotel, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis Styles, and Ibis brand names for business and leisure travelers.

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