Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Huazhu Group (HTHT) to Sell

Huazhu Group (NASDAQ:HTHT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Goldman Sachs Group raised Huazhu Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Daiwa Capital Markets upgraded Huazhu Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. BidaskClub cut Huazhu Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. ValuEngine cut Huazhu Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut Huazhu Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $40.00 to $25.00 in a report on Monday, September 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.88.

Shares of HTHT stock opened at $28.16 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $8.41 billion, a PE ratio of 43.32 and a beta of 1.64. Huazhu Group has a 12-month low of $25.24 and a 12-month high of $49.60. The company has a quick ratio of 1.45, a current ratio of 1.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19.

Huazhu Group (NASDAQ:HTHT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 23rd. The company reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $381.03 million during the quarter. Huazhu Group had a return on equity of 23.00% and a net margin of 12.58%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Huazhu Group will post 0.74 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HTHT. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. grew its holdings in Huazhu Group by 135.0% during the 1st quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,297 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 745 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its holdings in Huazhu Group by 93.6% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,605 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 776 shares during the last quarter. Natixis acquired a new stake in Huazhu Group during the 1st quarter valued at $270,000. Mizuho Securities USA LLC acquired a new stake in Huazhu Group during the 2nd quarter valued at $155,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Huazhu Group during the 1st quarter valued at $559,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 37.57% 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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