FelCor Reports Fourth Quarter Results - Exceeds High Guidance
IRVING, Texas -- FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (NYSE: FCH - News) today reported operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2008.
- Agreed in principle on the material terms for a $120 million secured loan with one of the current lenders to refinance our only significant 2009 debt maturity.
- Agreed in principle on the material terms with the lead lender for a $200 million secured loan with a term of up to four years, which will allow us to repay and cancel our line of credit, accumulate cash and eliminate all of our corporate financial covenants.
- Adjusted FFO per share was $0.25 and Adjusted EBITDA was $52.3 million for the fourth quarter. This exceeded the high end of our guidance.
- Market share increased more than five percent in the fourth quarter for our 70 hotels where renovations were completed in 2007 and 2008, which is consistent with our expectations. Market share increased almost three percent for our 85 consolidated hotels.
- Hotel EBITDA margin increased 36 basis points for the full year, reflecting successful and ongoing cost cutting measures.
- RevPAR increased one percent for the full year at our 85 consolidated hotels. RevPAR declined by 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter at our 85 consolidated hotels, compared to the United States average decline of 9.8 percent. RevPAR decreased 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter at the 70 hotels where we completed renovations during 2007 and 2008.
- Net loss applicable to common stockholders for the fourth quarter was $98.1 million and included impairment charges of $63.1 million and liquidated damages of $11.1 million.
Fourth Quarter Operating Results
Our hotels continue to outperform the industry average and their competitive sets. Revenue per available room (“RevPAR”) for our 85 consolidated hotels decreased by 8.5 percent to $82.01, driven by decreases in both average daily rate (“ADR”) (3.9 percent) and occupancy (4.8 percent), compared to the same period in 2007. RevPAR decreased 6.6 percent at the 70 hotels where we completed renovations during 2007 and 2008. By contrast, RevPAR for the United States and the upper upscale segment decreased by 9.8 and 11.1 percent, respectively, according to Smith Travel Research.
“I am pleased with our many accomplishments during 2008, which include increasing operating margins, successfully completing our renovation program and our renovated hotels achieving their expected market share growth. As the economic headwinds continue into 2009, our team is focused on finding ways to further reduce expenses to mitigate the decline in revenue while continuing to be creative in developing new sources of revenue. We started working with our operators last May to improve operating efficiencies and reduce headcount at our hotels. This process continued through the 2009 budget process and will result in additional savings for 2009. We also remain focused on ensuring adequate liquidity and strengthening our balance sheet. With a recently renovated portfolio that is diversified among major markets and is flagged under brands that outperform their competitors, we should continue to outperform the industry,” continued Mr. Smith.
Adjusted Funds from Operations (“FFO”) was $15.6 million, or $0.25 per share, compared to Same-Store Adjusted FFO of $21.8 million, or $0.34 per share, and Adjusted FFO of $21.2 million, or $0.34 per share, for the same period in 2007. Same-Store Adjusted FFO includes results from acquired hotels for the entire quarter, regardless of when acquired, and excludes sold hotels and gains from condominiums.
Hotel EBITDA decreased to $61.5 million, compared to $70.5 million in the same period in 2007, a 13 percent decrease. Hotel EBITDA margin was 24.2 percent, a 156 basis point decrease compared to the same period in 2007. Hotel EBITDA represents 100 percent of the EBITDA generated by our hotels regardless of when acquired and is before corporate expenses and joint venture adjustments.
Adjusted EBITDA was $52.3 million compared to Same-Store Adjusted EBITDA of $61.9 million, and Adjusted EBITDA of $58.8 million, for the same period in 2007. Same-Store Adjusted EBITDA includes results from acquired hotels for the entire quarter regardless of when acquired and excludes sold hotels and gains from condominiums.
Net loss applicable to common stockholders was $98.1 million, or $1.57 per share, compared to $13.0 million, or $0.21 per share, for the same period in 2007. Net loss applicable to common stockholders in the fourth quarter of 2008 includes impairment charges of $63.1 million ($54.1 million related to consolidated hotels and $9.0 million related to unconsolidated entities) and liquidated damages of $11.1 million. Because of the unprecedented conditions in the financial markets, we reviewed our entire portfolio for impairment in the fourth quarter of 2008. As a result of this review, we recorded fourth quarter non-cash impairment charges aggregating $63.1 million. Approximately $45 million of the impairment charge relates to two hotels that we do not intend to sell (one of which has a short-term ground lease and the other is owned by an unconsolidated entity and experienced an other-than-temporary decline in market value) and the remainder of the impairment is related to three hotels that remain on the market to be sold.
Full Year Operating Results
Adjusted FFO was $125.9 million, or $1.99 per share, compared to Same-Store Adjusted FFO of $113.5 million, or $1.79 per share, and Adjusted FFO of $137.2 million, or $2.17 per share, for 2007.
Hotel EBITDA increased to $316.0 million, compared to $308.1 million in 2007, a 3 percent increase. Hotel EBITDA margin was 28.0 percent, a 36 basis point increase compared to 2007.
Adjusted EBITDA was $275.8 million compared to Same-Store Adjusted EBITDA of $273.3 million, and Adjusted EBITDA of $285.1 million, for 2007.
Net loss applicable to common stockholders was $158.0 million, or $2.55 per share, compared to a net income applicable to common stockholders of $50.3 million, or $0.81 per share, for 2007. Net loss applicable to common stockholders in 2008 included impairment charges of $120.6 million ($108.0 million related to consolidated hotels and $12.6 million related to unconsolidated entities) and liquidated damages of $11.1 million. Net income in 2007 included $18.6 million gain on sale of condominiums.
EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Same-Store Adjusted EBITDA, Hotel EBITDA, Hotel EBITDA margin, FFO, Adjusted FFO and Same-Store Adjusted FFO are all non-GAAP financial measures. See our discussion of “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 15 for a reconciliation of each of these measures to our net income and for information regarding the use, limitations and importance of these non-GAAP financial measures.
At December 31, 2008, we had $1.6 billion of consolidated debt outstanding with a weighted average interest rate of 5.2 percent, and our cash and cash equivalents totaled $50.2 million. As of today, we have approximately $100 million of cash and cash equivalents, and we intend to retain excess cash for working capital because of the uncertain economic environment. We currently have drawn $188 million on our $250 million line of credit and remain in compliance with our financial covenants.
We have agreed in principle on the material terms of a new $200 million term loan, which would be secured by first mortgages on eight currently unencumbered hotels and, assuming all extension options are exercised, will not mature until 2013. This loan would not be subject to any corporate financial covenants. The material terms of this loan have been approved by JPMorgan Securities Inc. as lead arranger, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent, which will provide a portion of the loan. Proceeds from this loan will be used for general working capital purposes and to repay the outstanding balance on our line of credit (which will be cancelled upon repayment). We expect to close this new loan, subject to other lenders’ approval, documentation, due diligence and customary conditions, by the end of April.
We have one significant debt maturity in 2009 – a $117 million non-recourse mortgage loan secured by seven hotels. We have agreed in principle on the material terms to refinance this loan for five years with Prudential Mortgage Capital, one of the current lenders, (with respect to which we have paid a non-refundable $300,000 portion of the origination fee) and are negotiating final documentation. We expect to close the refinancing upon or prior to maturity, subject to documentation, due diligence and customary conditions. Our next significant debt maturity is May 2010. We have already begun discussions with potential lenders to refinance our debt that matures in 2010 and 2011.
Our Board of Directors suspended our common dividend in the fourth quarter. We do not anticipate that we will be required to pay any further dividends in 2009 to maintain our REIT status. The suspension of our common dividend will preserve approximately $38 million of liquidity in 2009. We paid the 2008 fourth quarter dividends on our preferred stock in January 2009.
“We are taking steps to ensure adequate liquidity and extend our debt maturities. We have agreed on the principle terms with Prudential to refinance our upcoming 2009 maturity and have also agreed on the principle terms of a secured loan that removes all of our corporate financial covenants. We are pleased that we will have eliminated our near-term maturity risk and are already working on a plan to refinance the debt that matures in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, we have suspended our common dividend, postponed any further redevelopment spending and improved our cost structure through expense reductions. After completion of our planned 2009 financing transactions, our balance sheet will remain flexible with 23 hotels unencumbered by mortgage debt,” said Andrew J. Welch, FelCor’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Capital Expenditures and Development
Overall, our renovated hotels continue to perform consistent with our expectations. While RevPAR at the 70 hotels where we completed renovations during 2007 and 2008 decreased by 6.6 percent for the quarter, compared to the same period in the prior year, market share at these hotels increased by more than five percent relative to their competitive sets. RevPAR for our five hotels under renovation during the fourth quarter, including Hotel 480 Union Square in San Francisco, decreased by 22 percent.
We spent $156 million on renovations and redevelopment projects at our hotels, including our pro rata share of joint venture expenditures, during 2008. The redevelopment of Hotel 480 Union Square is expected to be completed in the second quarter. On April 1, 2009, this hotel will be reflagged as a Marriott.
During 2009, we expect to spend $39 million on ordinary course improvements to our hotels. Additionally, we expect to spend $25 million to finalize the redevelopment of Hotel 480 Union Square and $20 million of carryover to complete the final portion of our renovation program. In the interest of building long-term value, we are moving forward with the approval and entitlement process of additional redevelopment projects. However, we are committed to a disciplined approach toward capital allocation and will not commit capital to new projects until that is prudent.
Subsequent to year end, we sold the Ramada Hotel in Hays, Kansas for $3 million. This hotel was part of an unconsolidated joint venture with two other hotels. The proceeds from the sale of the hotel were used to partially repay the joint venture’s mortgage loan. The remaining hotels we previously identified as non-strategic are currently being marketed for sale, but under current credit market conditions, we do not expect to sell any additional hotels during 2009.
Our business plan reflects a prolonged recession and continued deterioration of lodging demand through 2009, based on shrinking manufacturing output, rising unemployment and low consumer confidence. These economic factors result in an unpredictable economy and makes visibility into future demand trends very limited and impacts our ability to accurately forecast RevPAR. Therefore, we are providing a wider than normal range of guidance. While we expect RevPAR to decline sharply in 2009, our portfolio will benefit from the renovations we completed in 2008 and the conversion of our Hotel 480 Union Square to a Marriott. Therefore, we expect our portfolio to grow market share by an average of more than 100 basis points. Our guidance assumes no asset sales, other than the one unconsolidated hotel already sold.
Assuming full year 2009 RevPAR for our 85 consolidated hotels decreases between ten and 13 percent, we anticipate:
- Adjusted EBITDA to be between $200 million and $213 million;
- Adjusted FFO per share to be between $0.76 and $1.00;
- Net Loss to be between $77 million and $62 million; and
- Interest expense to be between $105 million and $107 million.
As of February 13, our senior notes were rated B1 and B+ by Moody’s Investor Service and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, respectively. As a result, the interest rate on $300 million of our Senior Notes due 2011 increased by 50 basis points to 9.0 percent, which increased our annual interest expense by $1.5 million.
FelCor, a real estate investment trust, is the nation’s largest owner of upper-upscale, all-suite hotels. FelCor owns interests in 88 hotels and resorts, located in 23 states and Canada. FelCor’s portfolio consists primarily of upper-upscale hotels, which are flagged under global brands such as Embassy Suites Hotels®, Doubletree ®, Hilton®, Renaissance®, Sheraton®, Westin® and Holiday Inn®. Additional information can be found on the Company’s Web site at .
We invite you to listen to our fourth quarter earnings Conference Call on Friday, February 27, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. (Central Time). The conference call will be Web cast simultaneously via the Internet on FelCor’s Web site at . Interested investors and other parties who wish to access the call should go to FelCor’s Web site and click on the conference call microphone icon on either the “Investor Relations” or “News” pages. The conference call replay will be archived on the Company’s Web site.
With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this news release include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should” “will,” “continue” and other similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions and forecasts of future results. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Numerous risks and uncertainties, and the occurrence of future events, may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. Current economic circumstances or a further economic slowdown and the impact on the lodging industry, operating risks associated with the hotel business, relationships with our property managers, risks associated with our level of indebtedness and our ability to meet debt covenants in our debt agreements, our ability to complete acquisitions and dispositions, the availability of capital, the impact on the travel industry from increased fuel prices and security precautions, our ability to continue to qualify as a Real Estate Investment Trust for federal income tax purposes and numerous other factors may affect future results, performance and achievements. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe our current expectations to be based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that actual results will not differ materially. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in our expectations.
Stephen A. Schafer
Vice President of Investor Relations
Phone: (972) 444-4912