Host Hotels & Resorts 10-K 2006
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
HOST MARRIOTT CORPORATION
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
(Registrants Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (i) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (ii) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of accelerated filer and large accelerated filer in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer x Accelerated Filer ¨ Non-Accelerated Filer ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x
The aggregate market value of shares of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 17, 2005 (based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 17, 2005) was approximately $6,540,523,759.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the registrants proxy statement for the annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2006 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. We expect to file our proxy statement by April 6, 2006.
Items 1 & 2 Business and Properties
Host Marriott Corporation is a Maryland corporation and operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, or REIT. Host Marriott Corporation owns properties and conducts operations through Host Marriott, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership that Host Marriott Corporation is the sole general partner and in which it holds approximately 95% of the partnership interests. In this report, we use the terms we or our to refer to Host Marriott Corporation and Host Marriott, L.P. together, unless the context indicates otherwise. We also use the term Host to specifically refer to Host Marriott Corporation and the terms operating partnership or Host LP to refer to Host Marriott, L.P. (and its consolidated subsidiaries), in cases where it is important to distinguish between Host and Host LP.
As of March 1, 2006, our lodging portfolio consisted of 103 luxury and upper-upscale full-service hotels containing approximately 54,000 rooms. Our portfolio is geographically diverse with hotels in most of the major metropolitan areas in 26 states, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Calgary, Canada and Mexico City, Mexico. Our locations primarily include central business districts of major cities, airport areas and resort/conference destinations. Additionally, we have signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire a portfolio of 38 hotels (the Starwood Portfolio) from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and a majority owned subsidiary, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, (together, Starwood), which we expect to close in early April. For further discussion, see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Operations and Financial ConditionStarwood Transaction.
The address of our principal executive office is 6903 Rockledge Drive, Suite 1500, Bethesda, Maryland, 20817. Our phone number is 240-744-1000. Our Internet website address is www.hostmarriott.com.
We make available free of charge, on our Internet website, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
Additionally, at the Investor Information section of our website, we have a Corporate Governance page that includes, among other things, copies of our Code of Business Conduct and Conflicts of Interest Policy for directors, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for employees, our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters for each of our standing committees of our Board of Directors, which are: the Audit Committee, the Compensation Policy Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Copies of these charters and policies are also available in print to stockholders upon request.
The Lodging Industry Overview
The lodging industry in the United States consists of both private and public entities that operate in an extremely diversified market under a variety of brand names. The lodging industry has several key participants:
The hotel manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the hotels, including the employment of hotel staff, the determination of room rates, the development of sales and marketing plans, the preparation of operating and capital expenditure budgets and the preparation of financial reports for the owner. They typically receive fees based on the revenues and profitability of the hotel.
The lodging industry is highly competitive. Competition for a given hotel is based primarily on the brand affiliation, guest facilities, amenities, level of service, quality of accommodations, location and room rates. Competition is often specific to the individual markets in which the properties are located. Catering to a wide variety of tastes and needs, the lodging industry is broadly segmented into six groups: luxury, upper-upscale, upscale, midscale (with and without food and beverage service) and economy. Most of our hotels operate in urban and resort markets either as luxury properties, under such brand names as Ritz-Carlton®, Fairmont® and Four Seasons®, or as upper-upscale properties, under such brand names as Marriott®, Hyatt®, Westin® and Hilton®.(1)
Our industry is influenced by the cyclical relationship between the supply of, and demand for, hotel rooms. Lodging demand growth typically is related to the vitality of the overall economy in addition to local market factors that stimulate travel to specific destinations. Extended periods of strong demand growth tend to encourage new development. The rate of supply growth may be influenced by a number of factors, including availability of capital, interest rates, construction costs and unique market considerations. The relatively long lead-time required to complete development of hotels increases the volatility of the cyclical behavior of the lodging industry. At different points in the cycle, demand and supply may increase or decrease in a dissimilar manner such that demand may increase when there is no new supply or supply may grow when demand is declining. The development of luxury and upper-upscale hotels in urban and resort/conference destinations frequently requires the longest lead-time.
Properties in the luxury and upper-upscale segment of the lodging industry benefited from a favorable imbalance between supply and demand during the early 1990s, driven in part by low construction levels and high gross domestic product, or GDP growth. From 1998 through 2000, supply moderately outpaced demand, leading to slight declines in occupancy levels. However, the growth of hotel revenues remained very strong as occupancy declines were more than offset by increases in average daily rate during that period. From 2001 through 2003, demand slowed significantly due to the threat of terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and the continuation of a weak economy, all of which combined to reduce both occupancy and average daily rates. As the economy strengthened early in 2004, demand growth began to accelerate initially leading to increases in occupancy. The lodging industry continued to strengthen in 2005 and we then experienced growth in higher rated business travel, which helped drive strong improvements in average room rates. Based on data provided by Lodging Econometrics, luxury and upper-upscale hotel supply growth for the top 25 markets in the U.S. is expected to increase by approximately 1.4% and 1.9% in 2006 and 2007, respectively. We believe that, based on a review of the forecasted supply growth in the specific geographic markets where we own hotels, supply growth of potentially competitive hotels will be slightly lower than the Lodging Econometrics forecasts.
The charts below detail the supply, demand and RevPAR growth for the U.S. lodging industry and for the luxury and upper-upscale segment for 2001 to 2005 based on data provided by Smith Travel Research. RevPAR is defined as the product of the average daily room rate charged and the average daily occupancy achieved and is a commonly used measure of hotel operations. For more information on RevPAR and a discussion of how we use this measure, see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Operations and Financial ConditionOverview.
U.S. Lodging Industry Supply, Demand and RevPAR Growth
Luxury and Upper-Upscale Supply, Demand and RevPAR growth
Our primary business objective is to provide superior total returns to our stockholders through a combination of appreciation in asset values and growth in earnings and dividends. To achieve this objective we seek to:
Asset Management. We believe we can maximize the value of our hotel portfolio through aggressive asset management. We are the largest REIT owner of luxury and upper-upscale properties in the U.S. and our hotels are managed by many of the top brands in the industry. The size and composition of our portfolio and our experience with multiple brands allow us to benchmark similar hotels and identify best practices, value enhancement opportunities and efficiencies that can be communicated to our managers. We continue to evaluate key performance indicators to ensure an appropriate level of assistance is provided to our managers to maximize opportunities at each asset. Areas of focus include enhancing revenue management for rooms, food and beverage and other services, reducing operating costs and identifying operating efficiencies, all of which improve the long-term profitability of the hotel.
Our asset management and development departments work closely with our managers in overseeing capital expenditure budgets to ensure that our hotels are in superior physical condition, highly competitive in the market and compliant with brand standards. We also work with our managers to ensure that renewal and replacement expenditures are efficiently spent to maximize the profitability of the hotel. In addition to best practices driving the profitability of our hotels, we pursue opportunities to enhance asset value by completing selective capital improvements outside the scope of the typical renewal and replacement capital expenditures. These capital improvements may include converting underutilized space to alternative uses, building additional meeting space or exhibit halls, and installing energy management systems and highly efficient water recycling systems. When appropriate, we also consider the complete repositioning of a hotel in a given market, which often includes a complete renovation of guest rooms, meeting rooms and public space modifications. Other value enhancement opportunities will include utilizing underdeveloped land or buildings for other real estate uses, such as timeshare and condominium units, to maximize the value of each of our assets.
Acquisitions. Our acquisition strategy focuses on luxury and upper-upscale hotels. We continue to believe there will be opportunities to acquire these hotels at attractive multiples of cash flow and at discounts to replacement cost. Our acquisition strategy continues to focus on:
Prior to 2003, our acquisitions were limited by the lack of suitable targets that would complement our portfolio and provide adequate returns, as well as a limited ability to raise capital due to weak investment
markets. As capital markets strengthened late in 2003, suitable single-asset opportunities became available. As a result, during 2004 and 2005, we acquired four properties in single-asset transactions, including our latest acquisition, the 834-room Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in September 2005.
In November 2005, we signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 38 luxury and upper-upscale hotels from Starwood for approximately $4.04 billion. Approximately 80% of the portfolio revenues are from properties in urban, convention or resort destinations, and six of the properties are city-center hotels with over 750 rooms. The acquisition will expand our portfolio into Europe where we will acquire six hotels, as well as increase our presence in key domestic markets such as New York, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. The acquisition is consistent with our strategy of purchasing properties under premium brand names, including Westin®, Sheraton®, W Hotels®, and St. Regis®. See Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationsStarwood Transaction.
Dispositions. Since January 2003, we have taken advantage of market conditions to sell 26 hotels at favorable prices. Proceeds from dispositions have been, or will be, used to repay debt, fund acquisitions, fund return on investment, or ROI, projects, or for general corporate purposes. Proceeds from the dispositions completed during the first quarter of 2006 will be used to partially fund the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio. Generally, the properties that we disposed of have been non-core, smaller hotels that are located in secondary and tertiary markets where we believe the potential for growth is lower, or where the properties required substantial capital investments. However, in some instances, such as the recently announced sale of the Swissôtel The Drake, New York and the recently completed sale of the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott, we may also dispose of core assets when we have the opportunity to capitalize on value enhancement opportunities and apply the proceeds to other business objectives.
Our operating structure is as follows:
Host was formed in 1998 as a Maryland corporation in connection with our reorganization to qualify as a REIT and, at that time, we reorganized our business and contributed our hotels and certain other assets to the operating partnership and its subsidiaries. As a result of this reorganization, Host became the sole general partner
of Host LP. For each share of Host common stock, the operating partnership has issued one unit of operating partnership interest, or OP unit, to Host. When distinguishing between Host and Host LP, the primary difference is the approximately 5% of the partnership interests of Host LP not held by us as of March 1, 2006.
All of our assets are owned by us or through our subsidiaries, all of which are general or limited partnerships or limited liability companies. The OP units owned by holders other than us are redeemable at the option of the holders, beginning one year after the date of issuance of the holders OP units. Upon redemption of an OP unit, a holder may receive cash from us in an amount equal to the market value of one share of Host common stock. We have the right, however, to acquire any OP unit offered for redemption directly from the holder in exchange for one share of Host common stock, instead of a cash redemption.
As a REIT, certain tax laws limit the amount of non-qualifying income that Host can earn, including income derived directly from the operation of hotels. As a result, we lease substantially all of our properties to a subsidiary designated as a taxable REIT subsidiary for federal income tax purposes or to third party lessees. The lessees enter into agreements with third parties to manage the operations of the hotels. Taxable REIT subsidiaries may hold other assets that engage in other activities that produce non-qualifying income such as the development of timeshare or condominium units, subject to certain restrictions. Unlike other subsidiaries of a REIT, taxable income of a taxable REIT subsidiary is subject to federal, state and foreign income taxes.
Lodging Properties Portfolio
Overview. Our lodging portfolio primarily consists of 103 luxury and upper-upscale hotels containing approximately 54,000 rooms as of March 1, 2006. It is geographically diverse within North America, with hotels in most of the major metropolitan areas in 26 states, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Calgary, Canada and Mexico City, Mexico. We believe that the broader brand recognition and resources of the premium brands our properties are operated under help generate revenues and drive increased profitability over the long-term. Our locations include central business districts of major cities, near airports and resort/conference destinations, that because of their locations, typically benefit from significant barriers to entry by competitors. Historically, our properties in urban and resort/conference destinations have achieved higher RevPAR than similar properties in suburban locations. Our hotels have an average of approximately 522 rooms. Thirty-five of our hotels have more than 500 rooms and nine of our hotels exceed 1,000 rooms. Our hotels typically include meeting and banquet facilities, a variety of restaurants and lounges, swimming pools, exercise facilities or spas, gift shops and parking facilities, the combination of which enable them to serve business, leisure and group travelers. The average age of our properties is 21 years, although most of the properties have benefited from substantial renovations or major additions, as well as scheduled renewal and replacement and other capital improvements.
The following chart details our portfolio by brand as of March 1, 2006:
Capital Expenditures. To maximize the value of our portfolio and to maintain our high standards, as well as those of our managers, we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing potential capital expenditures at our properties, including renewals and replacements, expansions, repositionings and other capital investments. Our capital expenditures generally fall into two broad categories, renewal and replacement expenditures and repositioning/return on investment (or ROI) projects.
Renewal and Replacement Expenditures. To maintain the overall quality of our lodging properties, we annually assess the need for refurbishments, replacements and capital improvements. Typically, room refurbishments occur at intervals of approximately seven years. However, the timing of refurbishments may vary based on the type of property and equipment being replaced. These refurbishments generally are divided into the following types: soft goods, hard goods and infrastructure. Soft goods include items such as carpeting, bed spreads, curtains and wall vinyl and may require more frequent updates to maintain brand quality standards. Hard goods include items such as dressers, desks, couches, restaurant chairs and tables and are generally not replaced as frequently. Infrastructure includes the physical plant of the hotel, including the roof, elevators, façade, fire systems, etc., which are regularly maintained and then replaced at the end of their useful lives. The management agreements for the majority of our properties require us to escrow 5% of each hotels annual gross revenues for refurbishments. Historically, we have spent a slightly higher percentage than required, or an average of approximately $180 million to $220 million, on replacements and refurbishments of soft and hard goods each year. In addition to amounts required to be escrowed under the management agreement, we fund infrastructure improvements and, on average, historically spend approximately $20 million to $30 million annually, generally leading to historical total renewal and replacement capital expenditures of $200 million to $250 million on an annual basis. Additionally, all capital expenditure decisions take into account the economic environment and our cash requirements and, as a result, we will occasionally spend more or less than these amounts.
Repositioning/Return on Investment Projects. We have also undertaken several projects over the past two years that are designed to increase the ROI for our portfolio. These projects include, for example, expanding ballroom, spa or conference facilities. In certain instances, these repositioning or ROI projects have coincided with the timing of regular maintenance cycles at the properties where we have used the opportunity to improve and upgrade the hotel. Other ROI projects are designed to take advantage of changing market conditions and the superior location of our properties. For example, in December 2005, we completed the renovation and repositioning of the Newport Beach Marriott at a cost of approximately $60 million, which included the addition of a spa, 20 new luxury suites, redesigned and renovated guestrooms, a new restaurant concept and updated meeting space. We also recently began work on a planned investment of approximately $70 million for the development of an exhibit hall at the Marriott Orlando World Center Hotel. We spent a total of approximately $107 million on ROI projects in 2005. ROI projects historically have generated strong returns, and over the next several years, we expect to spend $300 million to $500 million on such investments.
We also will continue to seek opportunities to enhance the value of our portfolio by identifying and executing strategies that capitalize on alternative uses of our assets, such as the development of timeshare or condominium units on excess land or the conversion of existing rooms to timeshare or condominium units. For example, we are pursuing the development of approximately 120 timeshare units on a beachfront parking lot at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. Additionally, we will seek to capitalize on our value enhancement strategies through the sale of our hotels when premium pricing can be obtained. Examples include the January 2006 sale of our Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott for a sales price of $146 million and the recently announced sale of the Swissôtel The Drake, New York, which we expect to complete on or about the end of the first quarter 2006, for a sales price of $440 million.
Foreign Operations. We currently own four Canadian properties and one Mexican property containing a total of 1,953 rooms. During each of 2005, 2004 and 2003, approximately 3% of our revenues were attributed to foreign operations, while the remaining 97% of our revenues were attributed to our domestic properties.
Competition. The lodging industry is highly competitive, and over the past decade there has been a proliferation of the number of brands in the lodging industry. Competition is often specific to individual markets and is based on a number of factors, including location, brand, guest facilities, amenities, price and service, as well as property condition. Our competition includes hotels operated under brands in the luxury and upper-upscale full-service segments, as well as hotels operated under upscale or other lower tier brands in many locations. Many management contracts do not have restrictions on the ability of management companies to convert, franchise or develop other hotel properties in our markets. As a result, our hotels in a given market often compete with other hotels that our managers may own, invest in, manage or franchise.
We believe our properties enjoy competitive advantages associated with their operations under the Marriott®, Ritz-Carlton®, Fairmont®, Four Seasons®, Hyatt®, Westin® and Hilton® hotel brand systems. The national marketing programs and reservation systems of these brands, combined with the strong management systems and expertise they provide, should enable our properties to perform favorably in terms of both occupancy and room rates. Each of our managers maintains national reservation systems. In addition, repeat guest business is enhanced by guest reward or guest recognition programs offered by most of these brands.
Seasonality. Our hotel sales traditionally have experienced moderate seasonality, which varies based on the individual hotel property and the region. Additionally, hotel revenues in the fourth quarter typically reflect sixteen weeks of results compared to twelve weeks for each of the first three quarters of the fiscal year for our Marriott-managed hotels. For our non-Marriott managed hotels, the first quarter includes two months of operations, the second and third quarters include three months of operations and the fourth quarter includes four months of operations. See Managements Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial ConditionReporting Periods for more information on our fiscal calendar. Hotel sales have historically averaged approximately 21%, 25%, 21% and 33% for the first, second, third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Hotel Properties. The following table sets forth the location and number of rooms of our 103 full-service hotels as of March 1, 2006. Each hotel is operated under the brand name indicated.
Other Real Estate Investments
In addition to our 103 full-service hotels, we have minority partner interests in investments that in the aggregate own three full-service hotels, the Tiburon Golf Club, 120 limited-service hotels and other investments. Typically, we manage these investments and conduct business through a combination of general and limited partnership and limited liability company interests. All of the debt of these entities is non-recourse to us and our subsidiaries.
During March 2005, we sold 85% of our interest in CBM Joint Venture LLC, which owns 120 Courtyard by Marriott properties, for a sales price of approximately $92 million. We recorded a gain on the sale of approximately $41 million, net of taxes. In conjunction with the sale of our interest, CBM Joint Venture LLC was recapitalized and converted to a limited partnership. Post-recapitalization, we own a 3.6% limited partner interest in the newly-formed partnership, which we have the right to cause the partnership to redeem, under certain conditions, between December 2007 and December 2009, subsequent to which the partnership will also have the right to redeem our remaining interest.
We also have a leasehold interest in 53 Courtyard by Marriott properties and 18 Residence Inn by Marriott properties, which, in a series of related transactions, were sold to Hospitality Properties Trust and leased back prior to 1997. These properties were subleased in 1998 with an initial term expiring between 2010 and 2012 and are renewable at our option. Rent payable under the subleases is guaranteed by the subtenant up to a maximum of $30 million. At the expiration of these leases, Hospitality Properties Trust will return our initial security deposit of approximately $67 million.
For additional detail of our other real estate investments, including a summary of the outstanding debt balances of our affiliates, see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial ConditionInvestments in Affiliates and Notes 3 and 7 to the annual consolidated financial statementsInvestments in Affiliates and Leases.
Environmental and Regulatory Matters
Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances on, under or in such property. These laws may impose liability whether or not the owner or operator
knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. In addition, certain environmental laws and common law principles could be used to impose liability for release of asbestos-containing materials, and third parties may seek recovery from owners or operators of real properties for personal injury associated with exposure to released asbestos-containing materials. Environmental laws also may impose restrictions on the manner in which property may be used or businesses may be operated, and these restrictions may require corrective or other expenditures. In connection with our current or prior ownership or operation of hotels, we may be potentially liable for various environmental costs or liabilities. Although we are currently not aware of any material environmental claims pending or threatened against us, we can offer no assurance that a material environmental claim will not be asserted against us in the future.
Substantially all of our hotels are managed by third parties pursuant to management agreements with our lessee subsidiaries. The initial term of our management agreements generally is 15 to 20 years with one or more renewal terms. Our agreements with our managers typically include the terms described below. As of December 31, 2005, no individual hotels sales represent more than 7% of our total hotel sales.
On March 1, 2006, we had 205 employees, including approximately 27 employees at the Sacramento Host Airport hotel. Fourteen of our employees at the Sacramento Host Airport hotel are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that is subject to review and renewal on a regular basis. Employees at our other hotels are employed by our management companies.
Certain of our third-party managed hotels also are covered by collective bargaining agreements that are subject to review and renewal on a regular basis. We believe that we and our managers generally have good relations with labor unions at our hotels. We and our managers have not experienced any material business interruptions as a result of labor disputes.
Investment and Other Policies
The following is a discussion of our policies with respect to investments, financing, lending and certain other activities. Our policies are determined by our Board of Directors and may be amended or revised from time to time at their discretion, without notice to, or approval by, our security holders. We cannot assure you that our objectives set forth in these policies will be attained. We are restricted by REIT laws in performing some business activities. See Risk FactorsApplicable REIT Laws May Restrict Certain Business Activities.
Investments in Real Estate or Interests in Real Estate. Our investment objective is to provide superior total returns to our stockholders through a combination of appreciation in asset value and growth in earnings and dividends. In order to achieve this objective we seek to:
In addition to wholly owned assets, we also may participate with other entities in property ownership through joint ventures, partnerships or other types of co-ownership. Equity investments may be subject to existing mortgage financing and other indebtedness or such financing or indebtedness may be incurred in connection with acquiring investments. Any such financing or indebtedness will have priority over our equity interest in such property.
Investments in Real Estate Mortgages. While we will emphasize equity real estate investments, we may, at our discretion, invest in mortgages and other similar interests. We do not intend to invest to a significant extent in mortgages or deeds of trust, but may acquire mortgages as a strategy for acquiring ownership of a property or the economic equivalent thereof. In addition, we may invest in mortgage-related securities and/or may seek to issue securities representing interests in such mortgage-related securities as a method of raising additional funds.
Securities of, or Interests in, Persons Primarily Engaged in Real Estate Activities and Other Issuers. We also may invest in securities of other entities engaged in real estate activities or invest in securities of other issuers, including for the purpose of exercising control over such entities. We may acquire all or substantially all of the securities or assets of other REITs or similar entities where such investments would be consistent with our investment policies. No such investments will be made, however, unless the Board of Directors determines that the proposed investment would not cause either Host LP or Host to be an investment company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.
Generally, we will consider dispositions of properties or ownership interests if we believe that the sale price of a property would exceed the hold value of the property, taking into consideration both the current and
anticipated operating performance of the property, the propertys capital expenditure requirements, possible tax consequences of the sale and other circumstances. We are more likely to sell what we consider non-core properties that no longer fit within our business strategy of owning luxury and upper-upscale properties and where we believe growth prospects are slower than our overall portfolio. On occasion, when we believe we have the opportunity to attract premium pricing for an asset, we will sell one of our higher quality hotels.
To the extent that the Board of Directors determines to seek additional capital, we may raise such capital through Host common and preferred equity offerings, OP unit offerings, debt financing (including senior, secured and subordinated debt of Host LP) or retention of cash flow, or a combination of these methods.
Debt Financing. Our organizational documents do not contain restrictions on incurring debt; however, the indenture for our senior notes and our existing credit facility does impose limitations on the incurrence of indebtedness. We may, from time to time, reduce our outstanding indebtedness by repurchasing a portion of such outstanding indebtedness, subject to certain restrictions contained in Host LPs partnership agreement and the terms of our outstanding indebtedness. Our borrowing policies generally reflect the goals of obtaining an EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio of 3.0x or greater (under our senior notes indenture), targeting debt consisting of 15% to 30% variable rate debt and a balanced maturity schedule with an average maturity of no less than five years. We will, from time to time, re-evaluate our borrowing policies in light of then current economic conditions, relative costs of debt and equity capital, market conditions, market values of properties, growth and acquisition opportunities as well as other factors. Consequently, our financing policy is subject to modification and change. We may waive or modify our borrowing policy without notice to, or vote of, the holders of any of our securities.
In the future, we may seek to extend, expand, reduce or renew our existing credit facility, or obtain new credit facilities or lines of credit for the purpose of making acquisitions or capital improvements or providing working capital or meeting the taxable income distribution requirements for REITs under the Internal Revenue Code. We have issued in the past, and may issue in the future, securities senior to our common shares, including preferred shares and debt securities (either of which may be convertible into common shares or OP units or may be accompanied by warrants to purchase common shares or OP units).
We have not established any limit on the number or amount of mortgages that may be placed on any single hotel or on our portfolio as a whole, although one of our current objectives is to reduce our reliance on secured indebtedness.
Host Equity Offerings and Host LP Unit Offerings. We may seek to raise additional capital through equity offerings by Host or OP unit offerings by Host LP. Hosts charter provides the authority to issue up to 750 million shares of common stock and 50 million shares of preferred stock. The net proceeds of all equity capital raised by Host will be contributed to Host LP in exchange for OP units, which will dilute the percentage ownership interest of Host LPs outside limited (or third party) partners. Conversely, OP unit offerings by Host LP will dilute the percentage ownership interest of Host in Host LP. We may, under certain circumstances, purchase shares of Host common stock in the open market or purchase Host common stock and Host LP OP units in private transactions with our stockholders.
Retention of Cash Flow. Financing through the retention of cash flow is limited due to the REIT requirement that at least 90% of our taxable income be distributed to our stockholders. Our taxable income may differ significantly from our reported cash flows.
We may consider offering purchase money financing in connection with the sale of a hotel where the provision of such financing will increase the value we receive for the property sold.
We are subject to the information reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Pursuant to these requirements, we will file periodic reports, proxy statements and other information, including certified financial statements, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Policies With Respect to Other Activities
We may, but do not presently intend to, make investments other than as previously described. We have authority to offer our securities, including in exchange for property, and may engage in such activities in the future. We also may make loans to joint ventures in which we may participate in the future to meet working capital needs. We do not intend to engage in trading, underwriting, agency distribution or sale of securities of other issuers.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Prospective investors should carefully consider, among other factors, the material risks described below.
Financial Risks and Risks of Operation
We depend on external sources of capital for future growth and we may be unable to access capital when necessary.
Unlike regular C corporations, our ability to reduce our debt and finance our growth largely must be funded by external sources of capital because we are required to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our taxable income (other than net capital gains) in order to qualify as a REIT, including taxable income we recognize for federal income tax purposes but with regard to which we do not receive corresponding cash. Our ability to access the external capital we require could be hampered by a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including declining general market conditions, unfavorable market perception of our growth potential, decreases in our current and estimated future earnings, excessive cash distributions or decreases in the market price of Hosts common stock. In addition, our ability to access additional capital may also be limited by the terms of our existing indebtedness, which, among other things, restricts our incurrence of debt and the payment of distributions. The occurrence of any of these above-mentioned factors, individually or in combination, could prevent us from being able to obtain the external capital we require on terms that are acceptable to us or at all and the failure to obtain necessary external capital could have a material adverse effect on our ability to finance our future growth.
We have substantial leverage.
As of December 31, 2005, we and our subsidiaries had total indebtedness of approximately $5.4 billion. In connection with the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio, we also intend to incur substantial indebtedness, including the assumption of $104 million of mortgage debt, borrowings under a new bridge loan facility and potentially the $450 million of 7 3/8% debentures due November 15, 2015 of Sheraton Holding Corporation (the 2015 SHC Debentures), which we intend to enter into in connection with the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio. As adjusted to give effect to the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio, the additional indebtedness assumed or incurred in connection therewith, and other debt transactions that have occurred since the balance sheet date, we would have had total indebtedness of approximately $6.2 billion (of which approximately $3.6 billion would have consisted of senior notes, approximately $2.1 billion would have been secured by mortgage liens on various of its hotel properties with related assets, and the balance would have consisted of other debt).
Our substantial indebtedness has important consequences. It currently requires us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments of principal and interest on our indebtedness, which
reduces the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, expansion efforts, distributions to our partners and other general purposes. Additionally, it could:
Because we must distribute most of our taxable income in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we depend upon external sources of capital for future growth. If our cash flow and working capital were not sufficient to fund our expenditures or service our indebtedness, we would have to raise additional funds through:
We cannot assure you that any of these sources of funds would be available to us or, if available, would be on terms that we would find acceptable or in amounts sufficient for us to meet our obligations or fulfill our business plan.
Our revenues and the value of our properties are subject to conditions affecting the lodging industry.
The lodging industry experienced a down-turn from 2001 to 2003, and operations generally declined during this period. The decline was attributed to a number of factors including a weak economy, the effect of terrorist attacks, terror alerts in the United States and the war in Iraq, all of which changed the travel patterns of both business and leisure travelers. While our operations improved in 2004 and 2005, we cannot provide assurance that changes in travel patterns of both business and leisure travelers will be permanent or whether they will continue to evolve creating new opportunities or difficulties for the industry. Any forecast we make regarding our results of operations may be affected and can change based on the following risks:
Future terrorist attacks or changes in terror alert levels could adversely affect us.
Previous terrorist attacks in the United States and subsequent terrorist alerts have adversely affected the travel and hospitality industries over the past several years. The impact which terrorist attacks in the United States or elsewhere could have on our business in particular and the U.S. economy, the global economy and global financial markets in general is indeterminable. It is possible that such attacks or the threat of such attacks could have a material adverse effect on our business, our ability to finance our business, our ability to insure our properties and/or our results of operations and financial condition as a whole.
Our expenses may not decrease if our revenue drops.
Many of the expenses associated with owning and operating hotels, such as debt payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and employee wages and benefits, are relatively inflexible and do not necessarily decrease in tandem with a reduction in revenue at the hotels. Our expenses will also be affected by inflationary increases, and in the case of certain costs, such as wages, benefits and insurance, may exceed the rate of inflation in any given period. Our managers may be unable to offset any such increased expenses with higher room rates. Any of our efforts to reduce operating costs or failure to make scheduled capital expenditures could adversely affect the growth of our business and the value of our hotel properties.
Our ground lease payments may increase faster than the revenues we receive on the hotels situated on the leased properties.
As of March 1, 2006, 34 of our hotels are subject to third-party ground leases (encumbering all or a portion of the hotel). In addition, in connection with the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio, 12 of the hotels Host intends to acquire will be subject to similar third-party ground leases. These ground leases generally require increases in ground rent payments every five years. Our ability to service our debt could be adversely affected to the extent that our revenues do not increase at the same or a greater rate than the increases in rental payments under the ground leases. In addition, if we were to sell a hotel encumbered by a ground lease, the buyer would have to assume the ground lease, which may result in a lower sales price.
We do not control our hotel operations and we are dependent on the managers of our hotels.
Because federal income tax laws restrict REITs and their subsidiaries from operating a hotel, we do not manage our hotels. Instead, we lease substantially all of our hotels to subsidiaries which qualify as taxable REIT subsidiaries under applicable REIT laws, and our taxable REIT subsidiaries retain third-party managers to operate our hotels pursuant to management agreements. Our cash flow from the hotels may be adversely affected if our managers fail to provide quality services and amenities or if they or their affiliates fail to maintain a quality brand name. While our taxable REIT subsidiaries monitor the hotel managers performance, we have limited specific recourse under our management agreements if we believe that the hotel managers are not performing adequately. In addition, from time to time, we have had, and continue to have, differences with the managers of our hotels over their performance and compliance with the terms of our management agreements. We generally resolve issues with our managers through discussions and negotiations. However, if we are unable to reach satisfactory results through discussions and negotiations, we may choose to litigate the dispute or submit the matter to third-party dispute resolution. Failure by our hotel managers to fully perform the duties agreed to in our management agreements could adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, our hotel managers or their affiliates manage, and in some cases own or have invested in, hotels that compete with our hotels, which may result in conflicts of interest. As a result, our hotel managers have in the past made and may in the future make decisions regarding competing lodging facilities that are not or would not be in our best interests.
The terms of our debt place restrictions on us and our subsidiaries, reducing operational flexibility and creating default risks.
The documents governing the terms of our existing senior notes, our credit facility contain and the new bridge loan facility, if the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio is completed, will contain covenants that place restrictions on us and our subsidiaries. These covenants will restrict, amongst other things, our ability and the ability of our subsidiaries to:
In addition, certain covenants in the credit facility require us and our subsidiaries to meet financial performance tests. The restrictive covenants in the applicable indenture(s), the credit facility and the documents governing our other debt (including our mortgage debt) will reduce our flexibility in conducting our operations and will limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interest. Our failure to comply with these restrictive covenants could result in an event of default that, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of all or a substantial portion of our debt. For a detailed description of the covenants and restrictions imposed by the documents governing our indebtedness, see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Financial Condition.
Our ability to pay dividends may be limited or prohibited by the terms of our indebtedness.
We are, and may in the future become, party to agreements and instruments which restrict or prevent the payment of dividends on our classes and series of capital stock. Under the terms of Host LPs credit facility, senior notes indenture and the contemplated bridge loan facility, distributions to Host by Host LP, upon which Host depends in order to obtain the cash necessary to pay dividends, are permitted only to the extent that, at the time of the distribution, Host LP can satisfy certain financial covenant tests and meet other requirements.
For example, beginning in the third quarter of 2002 and continuing through the fiscal quarter ended March 26, 2004, Host LP was prohibited from making distributions (other than in the amounts required to permit Host to pay dividends necessary to maintain REIT qualification) because our consolidated EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio as calculated under the indenture governing our senior notes (which measures the ratio of pro forma consolidated EBITDA to pro forma consolidated interest expense) was below 2.0 to 1.0. Accordingly, during this period, Host LP was only able to make distributions to Host, and Host was only able to pay dividends, to the extent that we had taxable income and were required to make distributions to maintain Hosts status as a REIT. While our EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio is currently above 2.0 to 1.0 and, as a result, we may make distributions in excess of permitted REIT distributions to the extent that we continue to satisfy this and other indenture covenant requirements, a decline in our operations could once again limit the amount of distributions that Host LP could make, and Hosts ability to pay dividends, either because our EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio again falls below 2.0 to 1.0 or because we fail to meet other financial covenant tests or meet other requirements in our credit facility or senior notes indenture.
We intend, during any future period in which Host LP is unable to make restricted payments under the indenture(s) and under similar restrictions under the credit facility, that Host LP will continue its practice of distributing quarterly, based on our estimates of taxable income for any year, an amount of available cash sufficient to enable Host to pay quarterly dividends on our preferred and common stock in an amount necessary to satisfy the requirements applicable to REITs under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. In the event that Host LP makes distributions to Host in amounts in excess of those necessary for us to maintain our status as a REIT during a period when such distributions are restricted, Host LP will be in default under the indenture terms governing all but our outstanding Series O, Series K and Series M senior notes. A default under any series of Host LPs existing senior notes could lead to a default under the Series O, Series K and Series M senior notes.
Our ability to pay dividends on our common stock may also be limited or prohibited by the terms of our preferred stock.
Under the terms of each of our outstanding classes of preferred stock, we are not permitted to pay dividends on our common stock unless cumulative dividends have been paid (or funds for payment have been set aside for payment) on each such class of preferred stock. The amount of aggregate dividends that accrue on our outstanding classes of preferred stock each quarter is approximately $6 million.
In the event that we fail to pay the accrued dividends on our preferred stock for any reason, including because we are prevented from paying such dividends under the terms of our debt instruments (as discussed above), dividends will continue to accrue on all outstanding classes of our preferred stock and we will be prohibited from paying any dividends on our common stock until all such accrued but unpaid dividends on our preferred stock have been paid (or funds for such payment have been set aside).
We are subject to risks associated with the employment of hotel personnel, particularly with hotels that employ unionized labor.
We have entered into management agreements with third-party managers to operate our hotel properties. Our third-party managers are responsible for hiring and maintaining the labor force at each of our hotels. Although we do not directly employ or manage the labor force at our hotels, we are subject to many of the costs and risks generally associated with the hotel labor force, particularly those hotels with unionized labor. From time to time, hotels operations may be disrupted through strikes, lockouts, public demonstrations or other negative actions and publicity. We may also incur increased legal costs and indirect labor costs as a result of contract disputes or other events. Additionally, hotels where our managers have collective bargaining agreements with employees (approximately 13% of our current portfolio, by revenues) are more highly affected by labor force activities than others. In addition, the resolution of labor disputes or re-negotiated labor contracts could lead to increased labor costs, either by increases in wages or benefits or by changes in work rules that raise hotel operating costs. Because collective bargaining agreements are negotiated between the managers of our hotels and labor unions, we do not have the ability to control the outcome of these negotiations.
Foreclosure on our mortgage debt could adversely affect our business.
As of March 1, 2006, twenty-seven of our hotels and assets related thereto are subject to various mortgages in an aggregate amount of approximately $1.9 billion. Although the debt is generally non-recourse to us, if these hotels do not produce adequate cash flow to service the debt secured by such mortgages, the mortgage lenders could foreclose on these assets. We may opt to allow such foreclosure rather than make the necessary mortgage payments with funds from other sources. However, Host LPs senior notes indenture and credit facility contain cross default provisions, which, depending upon the amount of secured debt defaulted on, could cause a cross default under both of these agreements. Host LPs credit facility, which contains the more restrictive cross default provision as compared to its senior notes indenture, provides that it is a credit facility default in the event Host LP defaults on non-recourse secured indebtedness in excess of 1% of its total assets (using undepreciated real estate values) or defaults on other indebtedness in excess of $50 million. For this and other reasons, permitting a foreclosure could adversely affect our long-term business prospects.
Our mortgage debt contains provisions that may reduce our liquidity.
Certain of our mortgage debt requires that, to the extent cash flow from the hotels which secure such debt drops below stated levels, we escrow cash flow after the payment of debt service until operations improve above the stated levels. In some cases, the escrowed amount may be applied to the outstanding balance of the mortgage debt. When such provisions are triggered, there can be no assurance that the affected properties will achieve the minimum cash flow levels required to trigger a release of any escrowed funds. The amounts required to be escrowed may be material and may negatively affect our liquidity by limiting our access to cash flow after debt service from these mortgaged properties.
Rating agency downgrades may increase our cost of capital.
Both our senior notes and our preferred stock are rated by Moodys Investors Service and Standard & Poors. These independent rating agencies may elect to downgrade their ratings on our senior notes and our preferred stock at any time. Such downgrades may negatively affect our access to the capital markets and increase our cost of capital.
Our management agreements could impair the sale or financing of our hotels.
Under the terms of our management agreements, we generally may not sell, lease or otherwise transfer the hotels unless the transferee is not a competitor of the manager and the transferee assumes the related management agreements and meets specified other conditions. Our ability to finance or sell our properties, depending upon the structure of such transactions, may require the managers consent. If, in these circumstances, the manager does not consent, we may be precluded from taking actions in our best interest without breaching the applicable management agreement.
The acquisition contracts relating to some hotels limit our ability to sell or refinance those hotels.
For reasons relating to federal and state income tax considerations of the former and current owners of five hotels, we have agreed to restrictions on selling the hotels, or repaying or refinancing the mortgage debt for varying periods depending on the hotel. We have also agreed not to sell more than 50% of the original allocated value attributable to a portfolio of 11 additional hotels, or to take other actions that would result in the recognition and allocation of gain to the former owners of such hotels for federal and state income tax purposes until 2009. As a result, even if it were in our best interests to sell these hotels or repay or otherwise reduce the level of the mortgage debt on such hotels, it may be difficult or costly to do so during their respective lock-out periods. We anticipate that, in specified circumstances, it may agree to similar restrictions in connection with future hotel acquisitions. However, Host will not undertake any additional restrictions on the sale or replacement of debt in connection with the hotels it will acquire from Starwood in the transactions.
We may be unable to sell properties because real estate investments are illiquid.
Real estate investments generally cannot be sold quickly. We may not be able to vary our portfolio promptly in response to economic or other conditions. The inability to respond promptly to changes in the performance of our investments could adversely affect our financial condition and our ability to service our debt. In addition, there are limitations under the federal income tax laws applicable to REITs that may limit our ability to recognize the full economic benefit from a sale of our assets.
Applicable REIT laws may restrict certain business activities.
As a REIT we are subject to various restrictions on our income, assets and activities. Business activities that could be impacted by applicable REIT laws include, but are not limited to, activities such as developing alternative uses of real estate, including the development and/or sale of timeshare or condominium units.
Due to these restrictions, certain business activities, including those mentioned above, may need to occur in one or more of our taxable REIT subsidiaries. Our taxable REIT subsidiaries are taxable as regular C corporations and are subject to federal, state, and, if applicable, local and foreign taxation on their taxable income at applicable corporate income tax rates. In addition, under REIT laws, the aggregate value of all of a REITs taxable REIT subsidiaries may not exceed 20% of the value of all of the REITs assets.
We depend on our key personnel.
Our success depends on the efforts of our executive officers and other key personnel. None of our key personnel have employment agreements and we do not maintain key person life insurance for any of our
executive officers. We cannot assure you that these key personnel will remain employed by us. While we believe that we could find replacements for these key personnel, the loss of their services could have a significant adverse effect on our financial performance.
Litigation judgments or settlements could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition.
We are involved in various legal proceedings in the normal course of business. We are vigorously defending each of these claims. Currently, none of these claims seeks relief that, if granted, would have a significant effect on our financial condition or results of operations. As a publicly traded owner of hotel properties, however, we could become the subject of claims by the operators of our hotels, individuals or companies who use our hotels, our investors, or regulating entities, which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition and performance.
Our acquisition of additional properties may have a significant effect on our business, liquidity, financial position and/or results of operations.
As part of our business strategy, we seek to acquire luxury and upper-upscale hotel properties. The pending acquisition of Starwood hotels is an example of the execution of this strategy. We may acquire properties through various structures, including transactions involving portfolios, single assets, joint ventures and acquisitions of all or substantially all of the securities or assets of other REITs or similar real estate entities. We anticipate that our acquisitions will be financed through a combination of methods, including proceeds from Host equity offerings, issuance of limited partnership interests in Host LP, advances under our credit facility, and the incurrence or assumption of indebtedness. We may, from time to time, be in the process of identifying, analyzing and negotiating possible acquisition transactions and we expect to continue to do so in the future. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in consummating future acquisitions on favorable terms or that we will realize the benefits that we anticipate from the Starwood acquisition or other acquisitions that we consummate. Our inability to consummate one or more acquisitions on such terms, or our failure to realize the intended benefits from one or more acquisitions, could have a significant adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial position and/or results of operations, including as a result of our incurrence of additional indebtedness and related interest expense and our assumption of unforeseen contingent liabilities.
We may acquire hotel properties through joint ventures with third parties that could result in conflicts.
Instead of purchasing hotel properties directly, we may, from time to time, invest as a co-venturer in entities holding hotel properties. Host is exploring the possibility of funding part of the cash portion of the purchase price for the Starwood transaction and potentially future investments with proceeds from a joint venture related to the European assets to be acquired.
Co-venturers often share control over the operation of a joint venture. Actions by a co-venturer could subject the assets to additional risk, including:
Although we generally will seek to maintain sufficient control of any joint venture to permit our objectives to be achieved, we might not be able to take action without the approval of our joint venture partners. Because, as described above, Host may enter into joint ventures with third parties in connection with certain European hotels to be acquired, these risks are particularly relevant to the transactions.
Environmental problems are possible and can be costly.
We believe that our properties are in compliance in all material respects with applicable environmental laws. Unidentified environmental liabilities could arise, however, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and performance. Federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment may require a current or previous owner or operator of real estate to investigate and clean up hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum product releases at the property. The owner or operator may have to pay a governmental entity or third parties for property damage and for investigation and clean-up costs incurred by the parties in connection with the contamination. These laws typically impose clean-up responsibility and liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of or caused the presence of the contaminants. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by the environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. In addition, third parties may sue the owner or operator of a site for damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from that site. Environmental laws also govern the presence, maintenance and removal of asbestos. These laws require that owners or operators of buildings containing asbestos properly manage and maintain the asbestos, that they notify and train those who may come into contact with asbestos and that they undertake special precautions, including removal or other abatement, if asbestos would be disturbed during renovation or demolition of a building. These laws may impose fines and penalties on building owners or operators who fail to comply with these requirements and may allow third parties to seek recovery from owners or operators for personal injury associated with exposure to asbestos fibers.
Compliance with other government regulations can be costly.
Our hotels are subject to various other forms of regulation, including Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, building codes and regulations pertaining to fire safety. Compliance with those laws and regulations could require substantial capital expenditures. These regulations may be changed from time to time, or new regulations adopted, resulting in additional costs of compliance, including potential litigation. Any increased costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Some potential losses are not covered by insurance.
We carry comprehensive insurance coverage for general liability, property, business interruption and other risks with respect to all of our hotels and other properties. These policies offer coverage features and insured limits that we believe are customary for similar type properties. Generally, our all-risk property policies provide coverage that is available on a per occurrence basis and that, for each occurrence, has an overall limit, as well as various sub-limits, on the amount of insurance proceeds we can receive. Sub-limits exist for certain types of claims such as service interruption, abatement, earthquakes, expediting costs or landscaping replacement, and the dollar amounts of these sub-limits are significantly lower than the dollar amounts of the overall coverage limit. Our property policies also provide that all of the claims from each of our properties resulting from a particular insurable event must be combined together for purposes of evaluating whether the aggregate limits and sub-limits contained in our policies have been exceeded and, in the case of one of our hotels where the manager provides this coverage, any such claims will also be combined with the claims of other owners participating in the managers program for the same purpose. Therefore, if an insurable event occurs that affects more than one of our hotels, or, in the case of hotels where coverage is provided by the management company, affects hotels owned by others, the claims from each affected hotel will be added together to determine whether the aggregate limit or sub-limits, depending on the type of claim, have been reached and each affected hotel may only receive a proportional share of the amount of insurance proceeds provided for under the policy if the total value of the loss exceeds the aggregate limits available. We may incur losses in excess of insured limits and, as a result, we may be even less likely to receive sufficient coverage for risks that affect multiple properties such as earthquakes or certain types of terrorism.
In addition, there are other risks such as war, certain forms of terrorism such as nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (NBCR) terrorism and some environmental hazards that may be deemed to fall
completely outside the general coverage limits of our policies or may be uninsurable or may be too expensive to justify insuring against. Host has created a wholly-owned captive insurance company which provides coverage to the company for losses due to NBCR attacks. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act (TRIEA) allows our captive insurer to apply to the U.S. Treasury for reimbursement of the claims. This does not insure that we will be able to recover any of our NCBR losses.
We may also encounter challenges with an insurance provider regarding whether it will pay a particular claim that we believe to be covered under our policy. Should a loss in excess of insured limits or an uninsured loss occur or should we be unsuccessful in obtaining coverage from an insurance carrier, we could lose all, or a portion of, the capital we have invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenue from the hotel. In that event, we might nevertheless remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the property.
We may not be able to recover fully under our existing terrorism insurance for losses caused by some types of terrorist acts, and federal terrorism legislation does not ensure that we will be able to obtain terrorism insurance in adequate amounts or at acceptable premium levels in the future.
We obtain terrorism insurance as part of our all-risk property insurance program, as well as our general liability and directors and officers coverages. However, as noted above, our all-risk policies have limitations such as per occurrence limits and sublimits which might have to be shared proportionally across participating hotels under certain loss scenarios. Also, all-risk insurers only have to provide terrorism coverage to the extent mandated by the TRIEA for certified acts of terrorismnamely those which are committed on behalf of non-United States persons or interests. Furthermore, we do not have full replacement coverage at all of our properties for acts of terrorism committed on behalf of United States persons or interests (noncertified events) as our coverage for such incidents is subject to sublimits and/or annual aggregate limits. In addition, property damage related to war and to nuclear, biological and chemical incidents is excluded under our policies. While TRIEA will reimburse insurers for losses resulting from nuclear, biological and chemical perils, TRIEA does not require insurers to offer coverage for these perils and, to date, insurers are not willing to provide this coverage, even with government reinsurance. Host has created a wholly-owned captive insurance company that provides a policy of NBCR coverage to us, and has the same ability to apply to the US Treasury for reimbursement, as provided for in TRIA (now TRIEA), which is subject to the same deductibles and co-insurance obligations as other insurance companies. This applies to property insurance only, and not to general liability or Directors and Officers insurance. TRIEA terminates on December 31, 2007, and there is no guarantee that the terrorism coverage that it mandates will be readily available or affordable thereafter. As a result of the above, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the extent and adequacy of terrorism coverage that will be available to protect our interests in the event of future terrorist attacks that impact our properties.
Risks Relating to the Acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio
The occurrence of certain developments, including the failure to obtain required consents, could lead to Hosts acquisition of the affected hotels being delayed past the initial closing and, ultimately, abandoned, which could cause Host not to realize all of the intended benefits of the transactions.
Host and Starwood have agreed that, in the circumstances described below, one or both of them may elect to deferor temporarily (or, ultimately, permanently) exclude from the transactionsone or more hotels or entities to be acquired by Host in the transactions. While neither party will be required to close if the deferrals result in the failure of its applicable closing condition in the master agreement, each party may be forced to close despite significant changes to the portfolio, including the possibility that some, or all, of the foreign hotels to be acquired may be retained by Starwood.
The deferral or exclusion of hotels from the transactions could result in Host failing to realize all of the intended benefits of the transactions. Host and Starwood have agreed to specific amounts by which the cash
portion of the purchase price would be reduced as a result of the deferral or exclusion of each hotel in the portfolio. This adjustment is designed to compensate Host for the impact of the deferral but may not be adequate in all cases to compensate Host for the intended benefits of owning the hotel.
For example, when considering whether or not to approve the master agreement and the transactions, Hosts board of directors considered as a positive factor the expansion of Hosts geographic distribution into new markets outside the United States. The deferral of any international hotels could adversely affect Hosts ability to achieve the desired international presence.
Even if a deferred hotel is ultimately acquired by Host after the closing, the delay in acquiring that hotel could result in Host not obtaining all of the intended benefits of that hotel contemplated by Host management and Hosts board of directors when the master agreement was approved and signed.
Either Host or Starwood can defer any hotel or entity to be acquired by Host from the initial closing transactions without the others consent upon the occurrence of any of the following deferral triggers related to such hotel or entity:
In addition, Starwood can exclude any of the Canadian hotels to be acquired by Host from the initial closing transactions without Hosts consent if Starwood does not succeed in obtaining the desired ruling from the Canadian tax authorities with respect to certain Canadian restructuring transactions related to the sale of the Canadian hotels to Host.
In addition, Host can defer any hotel or entity to be acquired by Host from the initial closing transactions without Starwoods consent upon the occurrence of any of the following deferral triggers related to such hotel or entity:
In the event that the requisite Host stockholder vote is obtained and, following such vote, the number or value of hotels in the Starwood Portfolio were to materially change due to the deferral triggers described above, then Host would call another special meeting of its stockholders for the purpose of re-approving the issuance of shares of Host common stock in the transactions. Because either Host or Starwood may terminate the master agreement if the initial closing does not occur on or prior to April 17, 2006 (assuming the failure to close has not resulted from a breach by the terminating party), the need to call another Host special meeting would likely result in Host and Starwood having the right, individually, to terminate the transactions.
Host and Starwood are working with the intention that Host will acquire at closing all of the hotels in the transactions and no hotel has been deferred or excluded from the transactions as of the date of this annual report. However, there is no guarantee that all of the deferral triggers will be satisfied or waived prior to closing. In particular, given the waiting period applicable to certain approvals that are required to be obtained from the municipality in which the Westin Europa & Regina (a hotel in Venice) is located, unless a waiver can be obtained, it is likely that the transfer of that hotel will not be capable of completion prior to the second quarter of 2006. As a result, if the required Host stockholder approval is obtained and all other conditions to the completion of the closing transactions have been satisfied prior to that time, it is likely that the acquisition of the Westin Europa & Regina (and, if Host so elects, all other hotels located outside of the United States, Canada and Poland) would be deferred. In such an event, if the applicable approvals are not obtained prior to 90 days after the initial closing of the transactions (or, if Host elects to defer all hotels located outside the United States, Canada and Poland, prior to October 17, 2006), the deferred hotels could ultimately be permanently excluded from the transactions and retained by Starwood.
The transactions are subject to a number of conditions that could have an adverse effect on Host could cause abandonment of the transactions.
The transactions are subject to a number of conditions beyond the control of Host or Starwood, or both, that may delay or otherwise materially adversely affect their completion. These conditions include antitrust requirements in Canada and Italy and other governmental and third party approvals. In addition, the obligations of Host and Starwood to consummate the transactions are subject to the conditions that there must not have occurred (1) a material adverse effect with respect to the business of Starwood currently contemplated to be acquired by Hostin the case of Hosts obligationsor with respect to Hostin the case of Starwoods obligations or (2) any actual or proposed change in tax law or regulation with respect to consolidated tax return rules that would reasonably be expected to result in a material risk of Starwood incurring an economic cost of more than $200 million that Starwood did not expect to bear from the transactions. Further, the master agreement may be terminated for certain other reasons, including by either Host or Starwood in the event the initial closing of the transactions has not occurred by or on April 17, 2006 or, by Host, if Starwood consummates, or enters into any definitive agreement relating to, a transaction that has resulted or will result in a more than 50% change in the ownership of Starwood.
There can be no assurance that Host and Starwood will obtain the necessary consents, orders and approvals or satisfy the other conditions to closing prior to April 17, 2006, or at any time, which could result in the abandonment of the transactions or the modification of the transactions by Host and Starwood in a manner that is
adverse to Host or Starwood. Finally, if the transactions are terminated, and Host determines to seek other business combinations, there can be no assurance that we will be able to negotiate a transaction with another company on terms comparable to the terms of the transactions.
Any delay in completing the transactions may reduce or eliminate the benefits expected.
As described in the preceding risk factor, the transactions may not be completed until the conditions to closing are satisfied or waived. Host cannot predict whether or when these other conditions will be satisfied.
Any delay in completing the transactions may increase the likelihood that certain of these conditions will not be able to be fulfilled, resulting in either partys ability to terminate the master agreement and abandon the transactions. Further, the requirements for obtaining the required consents and antitrust approvals and satisfying the other conditions to closing could delay not only the initial closing of the transactions for a significant period of time but also result in the removal of certain hotels from the transactions as described above.
Any delay in completing the transactions could cause Host following the consummation of the transactions not to realize some or all of the benefits that Host expects to achieve if it successfully completes the transactions within its expected timeframe and integrates the business to be acquired from Starwood.
Finally, because the master agreement generally restricts Host from issuing shares of its common stock during the period from the signing of the master agreement until 60 days after the closing of the transactions, any delay in completing the transactions will lengthen the amount of time that Host is restricted from accessing the equity capital markets for fundraising purposes.
The pendency of the transactions could materially adversely affect the future business and operations of Host.
The pending transactions could result in the delay or deferral by Host management of important strategic decisions, which could negatively impact revenues, earnings and cash flows, as well as the market prices of shares of Host common stock, regardless of whether the transactions are completed. This risk is exacerbated by provisions in the master agreement that restrict or prevent Host from taking or agreeing to take certain actions, including acquisition or disposition transactions, during the period between the signing of the master agreement and the closing of the transactions. In addition, in the event that the ratings agencies that provide securities ratings on Hosts debts downgrade their ratings on such debts in light of the pending transactions, such a downgrade could materially adversely affect the ability of Host to finance its operations, including increasing the cost of obtaining financing.
Host expects to incur significant costs and expenses in connection with the transactions, which could result in not realizing some or all of the anticipated benefits of the transactions.
Host is expected to incur significant costs in connection with the transactions, including the financing of the cash consideration and obtaining title policies. These costs and expenses include investment banking expenses, specified taxes, severance, legal and accounting fees, printing expenses, defeasance costs and other related charges. There can be no assurance that the costs incurred by Host in connection with the transactions will not be higher than expected. The master agreement generally provides that certain transaction costs borne by Host will generally be capped at $50 million. This cap does not apply to Hosts investment banking, legal and accounting fees, printing expenses, financing and title costs or other similar costs and expenses directly incurred by Host.
Host also expects to incur costs related to the integration of the assets acquired from Starwood. While Host has assumed that a certain level of expenses would be incurred, there are a number of factors beyond its control that could affect the total amount or the timing of all of the expected integration expenses. There can be no assurance that Host will not incur additional unanticipated costs and expenses related to integration after the completion of the transactions, including in connection with the proposed structure pursuant to which Starwood will operate certain of the acquired European hotels for Host after the closing.
If Host is unable to finance the transactions as contemplated, including through borrowings under its anticipated bridge loan facility, the completion of the transactions will be jeopardized.
Host expects to fund the $1.213 billion cash portion of the purchase price for the transactions through proceeds from a combination of asset sales, sales of joint venture interests related to the European assets to be acquired and the issuance or other incurrence of additional indebtedness. There can be no assurance that Host will consummate one or more of these financing transactions prior to consummation of the transactions. To the extent that the contemplated financings are not completed prior to consummation of the transactions, Host has received financing commitments for a bridge loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of up to $1.67 billion from certain lenders. Funding of amounts under the bridge loan facility will be subject to a number of customary conditions. There can be no assurance that all such conditions will be satisfied at or prior to consummation of the transactions.
If Host is unable to finance the transactions, and other financings are not available on acceptable terms, in a timely manner or at all, then the completion of the transactions will be jeopardized and Host could be in breach of the master agreement.
Host will need to replace, at or before maturity, the bridge loan facility that will be used to finance a portion of the cash component of the transactions.
Host has received financing commitments for a bridge loan facility in an aggregate amount of up to $1.67 billion from Goldman Sachs Credit Partners, L.P., Deutsche Bank AG Cayman Islands Branch, Bank of America Bridge LLC and Merrill Lynch Capital Corporation. This facility will have an initial maturity date of twelve months, with two six-month extension options being available subject to the payment of extension fees and the satisfaction of certain other customary conditions. There can be no assurance that Host will be able to replace this facility with indebtedness on terms that are at least as beneficial to Host as the terms of this facility. For instance, Host may incur increased interest costs on indebtedness that replaces this facility due to higher interest costs of longer-term debt, which would adversely affect Hosts operating results and financial condition. The interest rate on the replacement indebtedness will depend on prevailing conditions at the time.
Host may fail to realize the revenue enhancements and other benefits expected from the transactions, which could affect the value of Host common stock following consummation of the transactions.
The value of Host common stock following consummation of the transactions may be affected by the ability of Host to achieve the expected benefits. Achieving the benefits of the transactions will depend in part upon meeting the challenges inherent in successfully integrating the portfolio of hotels to be acquired and the possible diversion of management attention for an extended period of time. There can be no assurance that such challenges will be met and that such diversion will not negatively impact the operations of Host following the consummation of the transactions.
Delays encountered in this transition process could have a material adverse effect on the operating results and financial condition of Host following the transactions. Although Host expects significant benefits to result from the transactions, there can be no assurance that Host will realize any of these anticipated benefits.
Host may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities related to the business to be acquired from Starwood.
Assets that Host has agreed to acquire from Starwood in the transactions may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities for which Host may have no recourse, or only limited recourse, against Starwood. In general, the representations and warranties provided by Starwood under the master agreement do not survive the closing of the transactions. While Starwood is required to indemnify Host with respect to breaches of certain representations and warranties that do survive the closing, such indemnification is limited and subject to various materiality thresholds, a significant deductible and an aggregate cap on losses. As a result, there is no guarantee
that Host will recover any amounts with respect to losses due to breaches by Starwood of its representations and warranties. The total amount of costs and expenses that may be incurred with respect to liabilities associated with acquired hotels and entities may exceed Hosts expectations, plus Host may experience other unanticipated adverse effects, all of which may adversely affect Hosts revenues, expenses, operating results and financial condition.
Finally, the indemnification agreement provides that Starwood will retain certain specified liabilities relating to the assets and entities currently contemplated to be acquired by Host, including with respect to liabilities related to pre-closing taxes, six pending litigation matters involving various unrelated claims and contingent ownership interests in the Fiji hotels and liabilities associated with a merger that is a part of the transactions and certain post-closing consequences thereof. While Starwood is contractually obligated to pay all losses and other expenses relating to such retained liabilities without regard to survival limitations, materiality thresholds, the deductible or cap on losses, there can be no guarantee that this arrangement will not require Host to incur losses or other expenses as well.
Hosts ability to service debt incurred to finance the transactions will depend in part on the cash flow generated by the hotels acquired.
In order to complete the transactions, Host anticipates incurring up to $1.0 billion of indebtedness, including the assumption of approximately $554 million of debt and an approximate $451 million draw on the bridge loan facility. As a result, we expect to have a debt balance of approximately $6.2 billion after the transactions. Hosts ability to service its increased debt will depend in part on the cash flow generated by the properties acquired in the transactions. The cash flow production of the hotels acquired is subject to changes in the national, regional and local economic climate; changes in business and leisure travel patterns; local market conditions such as an oversupply of hotel rooms or a reduction in lodging demand; the attractiveness of such hotels to consumers relative to Hosts competition; the performance of the managers of such hotels; changes in room rates and increases in operating costs due to inflation and other factors. There can be no assurance that the hotels acquired will meet Hosts managements expectations with respect to cash flow production, or that they will produce cash flow sufficient to service Hosts increased indebtedness. In addition, the increased levels of debt could, among other things:
The consummation of the transactions will expand Hosts business into new markets outside of the United States in which Host is not currently involved and expose Host to the general economic conditions of those markets.
Host may have difficulty managing its expansion into new geographic markets where Host has limited knowledge and understanding of the local economy, an absence of business relationships in the area or unfamiliarity with local governmental and permitting procedures. Upon completion of the transactions, Host will
own hotels in eight foreign countries, representing approximately 9% of its entire portfolio (by revenues) on a pro forma basis. There are risks inherent in conducting business internationally. These include:
Any of these factors could adversely affect our ability to obtain all of the intended benefits of the transactions.
If Host does not effectively manage its geographic expansion and successfully integrate the foreign hotels into its organization, Hosts operating results and financial condition may be materially adversely affected and the value of Host common stock may decline.
Exchange rate fluctuations could adversely affect our financial results.
As a result of the expansion of Hosts international operations, currency exchange rate fluctuations could affect its results of operations and financial position. Host expects to generate an increasing portion of its revenue and its expenses in such foreign currencies as the Euro, the British Pound, the Polish Zloty, the Chilean Peso and the Canadian and Fijian Dollar. Although Host may enter into foreign exchange agreements with financial institutions to reduce its exposure to fluctuations in the value of these and other foreign currencies relative to its debt or receivable obligations, these hedging transactions, if entered into, will not eliminate that risk entirely. In addition, to the extent that Host is unable to match revenue received in foreign currencies with costs paid in the same currency, exchange rate fluctuations could have a negative impact on Hosts results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, because Hosts consolidated financial results are reported in US Dollars, if Host generates revenues or earnings in other currencies the translation of those results into US Dollars can result in a significant increase or decrease in the amount of those revenues.
Risks of Ownership of Hosts Common Stock
There are limitations on the acquisition of Host common stock and changes in control.
Hosts charter and bylaws, the partnership agreement of Host LP, Hosts stockholder rights plan and the Maryland General Corporation Law contain a number of provisions, the exercise of which could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our stockholders or Host LP unit holders or otherwise be in their best interests, including the following:
Hosts charter prohibits ownership, directly or by virtue of the attribution provisions of the Code, by any person or persons acting as a group, of more than 9.8% in value or number, whichever is more
restrictive, of shares of Hosts outstanding common stock, preferred stock or any other stock, each considered as a separate class or series for this purpose. Together, these limitations are referred to as the ownership limit.
Stock acquired or held in violation of the ownership limit will be transferred automatically to a trust for the benefit of a designated charitable beneficiary, and the person who acquired the stock in violation of the ownership limit will not be entitled to any distributions thereon, to vote those shares of stock or to receive any proceeds from the subsequent sale of the stock in excess of the lesser of the price paid for the stock or the amount realized from the sale. A transfer of shares of Hosts stock to a person who, as a result of the transfer, violates the ownership limit may be void under certain circumstances, and, in any event, would deny that person any of the economic benefits of owning shares of Hosts stock in excess of the ownership limit. These restrictions on transferability and ownership will not apply if Hosts board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT.
Shares of Hosts common stock that are or become available for sale could affect the share price.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of Hosts common stock, or the perception that sales could occur, could adversely affect prevailing market prices for Hosts common stock. For example, in connection with the Starwood acquisition, Host intends to issue up to in excess of 145 million shares of common stock, representing an increase of approximately 38% over our currently outstanding shares. In addition, holders of units of limited partnership interest in Host LP, whose OP units may be redeemed, at Hosts election, in exchange for common stock, will be able to sell those shares freely, unless the person is our affiliate and resale of the affiliates shares is not covered by an effective registration statement. Further, a substantial number of shares of Hosts common stock have been and will be issued or reserved for issuance from time to time under our employee benefit plans, including shares of common stock reserved for options, or pursuant to securities we may issue that are convertible into shares of Host common stock or securities (other than OP units) that Host LP has issued that are exchangeable for shares of our common stock. As of March 1, 2006, there are approximately 20 million OP units outstanding that are redeemable and there are outstanding $500 million aggregate principal amount of 3.25% Exchangeable Senior Debentures of Host LP exchangeable under certain conditions for shares of Host common stock at an exchange price equivalent to $17.82 per share for a total of approximately 28 million shares (subject to adjustment for various reasons, including as a result of the payment of dividends to common stockholders). Moreover, additional shares of common stock issued by Host would be available in the future for sale in the public markets. We can make no prediction about the effect that future sales of common stock would have on the market price of Host common stock.
Our earnings and cash distributions will affect the market price of shares of Hosts common stock.
We believe that the market value of a REITs equity securities is based primarily upon the markets perception of the REITs growth potential and its current and potential future cash distributions, whether from operations, sales, acquisitions, development or refinancings, and is secondarily based upon the value of the underlying assets. For that reason, shares of Hosts common stock may trade at prices that are higher or lower than the net asset value per share. To the extent we retain operating cash flow for investment purposes, working capital reserves or other purposes rather than distributing the cash flow to stockholders, these retained funds, while increasing the value of our underlying assets, may negatively impact the market price of Hosts common stock. Our failure to meet the markets expectation with regard to future earnings and cash distributions would likely adversely affect the market price of Hosts common stock.
Market interest rates may affect the price of shares of Hosts common stock.
We believe that one of the factors that investors consider important in deciding whether to buy or sell shares of a REIT is the dividend rate on the shares, considered as a percentage of the price of the shares, relative to market interest rates. If market interest rates increase, prospective purchasers of REIT shares may expect a higher dividend rate. Thus, higher market interest rates could cause the market price of Hosts shares to decrease.
Federal Income Tax Risks
To qualify as a REIT, Host is required (and each of our subsidiary REITs will be required) to distribute at least 90% of our taxable income, regardless of our available cash or outstanding obligations.
To continue to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute to our stockholders with respect to each year at least 90% of our taxable income, excluding net capital gain. To the extent that we satisfy this distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income and net capital gain for the taxable year, we will be subject to federal and state corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income and capital gain. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which distributions made by us with respect to the calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income and 95% of our capital gain net income for that year and any undistributed taxable income from prior periods less excess distributions from prior years. We intend to make distributions, subject to the availability of cash and in
compliance with any debt covenants, to our stockholders to comply with the distribution requirement and to avoid the nondeductible excise tax and will rely for this purpose on distributions from Host LP and its subsidiaries. However, there are differences in timing between our recognition of taxable income and our receipt of cash available for distribution due to, among other things, the seasonality of the lodging industry and the fact that some taxable income will be phantom income, which is taxable income that is not matched by corresponding cash flow. Due to some transactions entered into in years prior to Hosts conversion to a REIT, Host could recognize substantial amounts of phantom income. It is possible that these differences between taxable income and the receipt of related cash could require us to borrow funds or to issue additional equity to enable Host to meet the distribution requirement and, therefore, to maintain our REIT status, and to avoid the nondeductible excise tax. In addition, because the REIT distribution requirement prevents Host from retaining earnings, we will generally be required to refinance debt at its maturity with additional debt or equity. It is possible that any of these sources of funds, if available at all, would not be sufficient to meet Hosts distribution and tax obligations.
If the transactions are completed as expected, Host will own, through Host LP, 100% of the outstanding common stock (but not the outstanding preferred stock) of SHC and six other entities that will elect to be treated as REITs. Each of these subsidiary REITs of Host will be subject to the same requirements that Host must satisfy in order to qualify as a REIT and the other rules applicable to REITs, including the distribution requirements described above.
Adverse tax consequences would apply if Host or any of our subsidiary REITs failed to qualify as a REIT.
We believe that Host has been organized and has operated in such a manner so as to qualify as a REIT under the Code, commencing with our taxable year beginning January 1, 1999, and Host currently intends to continue to operate as a REIT during future years. In addition, if the transactions are completed as expected, as described above, Host will own, through Host LP, SHC and six other entities that will elect to be treated as REITs. As the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT are extremely complex and interpretations of the federal income tax laws governing qualification and taxation as a REIT are limited, no assurance can be provided that Host currently qualifies as a REIT or will continue to qualify as a REIT or that each of Hosts subsidiary REITs will qualify as a REIT following its REIT election. If any of the subsidiary REITs were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it is possible that Host would fail to qualify as a REIT unless we (or the subsidiary REIT) could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions. New legislation, treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions could significantly change the tax laws with respect to an entitys qualification as a REIT or the federal income tax consequences of its REIT qualification. If Host or any of the subsidiary REITs were to fail to qualify as a REIT, and any available relief provisions did not apply, the non-qualifying REIT would not be allowed to take a deduction for distributions to its stockholders in computing its taxable income, and it would be subject to federal and state corporate income tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on its taxable income at regular corporate rates. Moreover, unless entitled to statutory relief, the non-qualifying REIT could not qualify as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which REIT qualification is lost.
Any determination that Host or one of our subsidiary REITs does not qualify as a REIT would have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations and could reduce the value of our common stock materially. The additional tax liability of Host or the subsidiary REIT for the year, or years, in which the relevant entity did not qualify as a REIT would reduce its net earnings available for investment, debt service or distributions to stockholders. Furthermore, the non-qualifying entity would no longer be required to make any distributions to stockholders as a condition to REIT qualification and all of its distributions to stockholders would be taxable as regular C corporation dividends to the extent of its current and accumulated earnings and profits. This means, if Host were to fail to qualify as a REIT, that Hosts stockholders currently taxed as individuals would be taxed on those dividends at capital gain rates and our corporate stockholders generally would be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to such dividends, subject in each case, to applicable limitations under the Code. Hosts failure to qualify as a REIT also would cause an event of default under Host LPs credit facility that could lead to an acceleration of the amounts due under the credit facility, which, in turn, would constitute an event of default under Host LPs outstanding debt securities.
If our leases are not respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes, Host and each of our subsidiary REITs would fail to qualify as a REIT.
To qualify as a REIT, Host must satisfy two gross income tests, under which specified percentages of our gross income must be passive income, like rent. For the rent paid pursuant to the leases, which currently constitutes (and is expected to constitute, following the closing transactions) substantially all of Hosts and each of our subsidiary REITs gross income, to qualify for purposes of the gross income tests, the leases must be respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes and not be treated as service contracts, joint ventures or some other type of arrangement. We believe that the leases will be respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes. There can be no assurance, however, that the IRS will agree with this view. If the leases were not respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes, neither Host nor any of our subsidiary REITs would be able to satisfy either of the two gross income tests applicable to REITs and each would most likely lose its REIT status.
If our affiliated lessees fail to qualify as taxable REIT subsidiaries, Host and each of our subsidiary REITs would fail to qualify as a REIT.
Rent paid by a lessee that is a related party tenant of Host will not be qualifying income for purposes of the two gross income tests applicable to REITs. As a result of changes in the Code, since January 1, 2001, Host has leased substantially all of its hotels to a subsidiary of Host LP that is taxable as a regular C corporation and that has elected to be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary with respect to Host. Should the Starwood acquisition be consummated as expected, each of the hotels acquired from Starwood and Starwood Trust will be leased to either a taxable REIT subsidiary of Host or a taxable REIT subsidiary of a subsidiary REIT. So long as any affiliated lessee qualifies as a taxable REIT subsidiary, it will not be treated as a related party tenant. We believe that our affiliated lessees have qualified and will continue to qualify, and that the taxable REIT subsidiaries of its subsidiary REITs will qualify, to be treated as taxable REIT subsidiaries for federal income tax purposes. There can be no assurance, however, that the IRS will not challenge the status of a taxable REIT subsidiary for federal income tax purposes or that a court would not sustain such a challenge. If the IRS were successful in disqualifying any of our affiliated lessees (including the taxable REIT subsidiaries of its subsidiary REITs) from treatment as a taxable REIT subsidiary, it is possible that Host or a subsidiary REIT would fail to meet the asset tests applicable to REITs and substantially all of its income would fail to qualify for the gross income tests. If this occurred, Host and/or the applicable subsidiary REIT would cease to qualify as a REIT.
Despite Hosts REIT status, we remain subject to various taxes.
Host or one of its subsidiary REITs will be required to pay federal income tax at the highest regular corporate rate upon its share of any built-in gain recognized as a result of any sale before the expiration of the applicable 10-year holding period of assets, including certain hotels, acquired as part of Hosts conversion to a REIT or from Starwood and its affiliates as part of the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio. The total amount of gain on which Host would be subject to corporate income tax if these built-in gain assets were sold in a taxable transaction prior to the expiration of the applicable 10-year holding period would be material to us through January 1, 1999, except for the Starwood Portfolio. In addition, we expect that we could recognize other substantial deferred tax liabilities in the future without any corresponding receipt of cash.
Notwithstanding Hosts status as a REIT, Host and our subsidiaries (including Hosts subsidiary REITs) will be subject to some federal, state, local and foreign taxes on their income and property. For example, Host and our subsidiary REITs will pay tax on certain types of income that is not distributed and will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions with a taxable REIT subsidiary that are not conducted on an arms length basis. Moreover, the taxable REIT subsidiaries of Host and our subsidiary REITs are taxable as regular C corporations and will pay federal, state and local income tax on their net income at the applicable corporate rates, and foreign taxes to the extent they own assets or conduct operations in foreign jurisdictions.
Host LP is obligated under its partnership agreement to pay all such taxes (and any related interest and penalties) incurred by Host.
If the IRS were to challenge successfully Host LPs status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, Host would cease to qualify as a REIT and suffer other adverse consequences.
We believe that Host LP qualifies to be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. As a partnership, it is not subject to federal income tax on its income. Instead, each of its partners, including Host, is required to pay tax on such partners allocable share of its income. No assurance can be provided, however, that the IRS will not challenge Host LPs status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, or that a court would not sustain such a challenge. If the IRS were successful in treating Host LP as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, Host would fail to meet the gross income tests and certain of the asset tests applicable to REITs and, accordingly, cease to qualify as a REIT. If Host LP fails to qualify as a partnership for federal income tax purposes or Host fails to qualify as a REIT, either failure would cause an event of default under Host LPs credit facility that, in turn, could constitute an event of default under Host LPs outstanding debt securities. Also, the failure of Host LP to qualify as a partnership would cause it to become subject to federal and state corporate income tax, which would reduce significantly the amount of cash available for debt service and for distribution to its partners, including Host.
As a REIT, each of Host and our subsidiary REITs is subject to limitations on its ownership of debt and equity securities.
Subject to certain exceptions, a REIT is generally prohibited from owning securities in any one issuer to the extent that the value of those securities exceeds 5% of the value of the REITs total assets or the securities owned by the REIT represent more than 10% of the issuers outstanding voting securities or more than 10% of the value of the issuers outstanding securities. A REIT is permitted to own securities of a subsidiary in an amount that exceeds the 5% value test and the 10% vote or value test if the subsidiary elects to be a taxable REIT subsidiary. However, a REIT may not own securities of taxable REIT subsidiaries that represent in the aggregate more than 20% of the value of the REITs total assets.
Host or our subsidiary REITs may be required to pay a penalty tax upon the sale of a hotel.
The federal income tax provisions applicable to REITs provide that any gain realized by a REIT on the sale of property held as inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is treated as income from a prohibited transaction that is subject to a 100% penalty tax. Under existing law, whether property, including hotels, is held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is a question of fact that depends upon all of the facts and circumstances with respect to the particular transaction. We intend that we will hold the hotels for investment with a view to long-term appreciation, to engage in the business of acquiring and owning hotels and to make occasional sales of hotels as are consistent with our investment objectives. There can be no assurance, however, that the IRS might not contend that one or more of these sales is subject to the 100% penalty tax.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are involved in various legal proceedings in the normal course of business. We are vigorously defending each of these claims. None of these claims seek relief that, if granted, would have a material effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
Item 4. Submission of matters to a vote of security holders
In the following table we set forth certain information regarding those persons currently serving as our executive officers as of March 1, 2006.
Item 5. Market for our common stock and related stockholder matters
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Stock Exchange and the Pacific Stock Exchange and is traded under the symbol HMT. In connection with the completion of the Starwood acquisition, we intend to change our name to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and to change the New York Stock Exchange symbol that our common stock is traded under to HST. The following table sets forth, for the fiscal periods indicated, the high and low closing sales prices per share of our common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange Composite Tape and dividends declared per share:
Under the terms of our senior notes indenture and the credit facility, our ability to pay dividends and make other payments is dependent on our ability to satisfy certain financial requirements. See Management Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial ConditionLiquidity and Capital Resources and Risk FactorsFinancial Risks and Risks of OperationOur ability to pay dividends may be limited by the terms of our indebtedness.
As of February 15, 2006, there were 26,793 holders of record of our common stock. However, because many of the shares of our common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we believe that there are considerably more beneficial holders of our common stock than record holders. As of February 15, 2006, there were 2,225 holders of OP units (in addition to Host). OP units are redeemable for cash, or, at our election, convertible into Host common stock.
Our ability to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code is facilitated by limiting the number of shares of our stock that a person may own. Our charter provides that, subject to limited exceptions, no person or persons acting as a group may own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the attribution provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, more than 9.8% in value or in number, whichever is more restrictive, of shares of Hosts outstanding common stock, preferred stock or any other stock, each considered as a separate class or series for this purpose. The Board of Directors has the authority to increase the ownership limit from time to time, but does not have the authority to do so to the extent that after giving effect to such increase, five beneficial owners of capital stock could beneficially own in the aggregate more than 49.5% of the outstanding capital stock. See Risk FactorsRisks Related to Ownership of Host: Common StockThere are limitations on the acquisition of Host common stock and changes in control.
Fourth Quarter 2005 Purchases of Equity Securities
Issuances of Unregistered Equity Securities
On December 12, 2005, we announced our intention to make a partial redemption of $100 million principal amount of our existing 6 3/4% Convertible Subordinated Debentures due December 2, 2026. The redemption date for the Convertible Subordinated Debentures was January 11, 2006. The Convertible Subordinated Debentures are the sole asset underlying the corresponding 6 3/4% convertible quarterly income preferred securities (the Convertible Preferred Securities), issued by Host Marriott Financial Trust (the Trust), a wholly owned subsidiary trust of Host. Upon conversion by a Convertible Preferred Securities holder, we issued shares of Host common stock. Each of the Convertible Preferred Securities and the related debentures are convertible at the option of the holder into shares of Host common stock at the rate of 3.2537 shares per $50 liquidation amount of Convertible Preferred Security (equivalent to a conversion price of $15.367 per share of the Companys common stock).
On January 11, 2006, we redeemed 6,396 of the Convertible Subordinated Debentures and corresponding Convertible Preferred Securities for a cash payment of $319,800. From December 2005 through to January 11, 2006, we also issued 7,736,320 shares of Host common stock in exchange for $118.8 million of our Convertible Preferred Securities, including Convertible Preferred Securities otherwise subject to redemption.
In addition, on January 11, 2006, we announced that we were exercising our right to cause the conversion rights of our Debentures and the corresponding conversion rights of the Convertible Preferred Securities to expire. Under the terms of the indenture and the trust agreement pursuant to which the securities were issued, we were permitted to exercise this option because the market price of Host common stock exceeded 120% of the adjusted conversion price of the Convertible Preferred Securities for 20 out of the last 30 trading days. The conversion rights of the Convertible Preferred Securities expired on February 10, 2006. Between January 12, 2006 and prior to the expiration date, we issued 23,045,226 shares of Host common stock in exchange for Convertible Preferred Securities. As of February 11, 2006, $2 million of subordinated debentures and corresponding preferred securities remain outstanding. All of the Host common stock was issued under an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 3a-9 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following table presents certain selected historical financial data which has been derived from audited consolidated financial statements for the five years ended December 31, 2005.
In December 2003, the FASB issued a revision to FIN 46, which we refer to as FIN 46R. Under FIN 46R, we are not the primary beneficiary and we are required to deconsolidate the accounts of the Convertible Preferred Securities Trust (the Trust). We adopted the provisions of FIN 46R on January 1, 2004. As a result, we recorded the $492 million in debentures (Convertible Subordinated Debentures) issued by the Trust and eliminated the $475 million of Convertible Preferred Securities that were previously classified in the mezzanine section of our consolidated balance sheet prior to January 1, 2004. The difference of $17 million is our investment in the Trust, which is included in Investments in affiliates on our consolidated balance sheet. The related dividend payment of approximately $32 million for 2004 and 2005 is required to be classified as interest expense effective January 1, 2004. We adopted FIN 46R prospectively and, therefore, did not restate prior periods. The adoption of FIN 46R had no effect on our net income (loss), earnings (loss) per diluted share or the financial covenants under our senior notes indentures. Between December 2005 and February 12, 2006, we converted $473 million of our Convertible Preferred Securities (and the underlying Convertible Subordinated Debentures) into approximately 30.8 million common shares. We intend to redeem the remaining $2 million of outstanding Convertible Preferred Securities during the second quarter of 2006. Additionally, the $17 million of Convertible Subordinated Debentures not held by third parties will be eliminated in conjunction with the second quarter 2006 redemption.
Item 7. Managements Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements about our business. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors discussed in Forward Looking Statements and Risk Factors contained in our SEC filings.
Structure and Business
As of March 1, 2006, we own 103 full-service luxury and upper-upscale hotel properties and we are the largest hotel REIT in the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts composite index. A REIT is a legal entity that holds real estate interests and, through payments of dividends to stockholders, is permitted to reduce or avoid federal income taxes at the corporate level. Host operates as a self-managed and self-administered REIT and owns approximately 95% of the partnership interests of Host LP.
Our hotels are operated under brand names that are among the most respected and widely recognized in the lodging industryincluding Marriott®, Ritz-Carlton®, Hyatt®, Four Seasons®, Fairmont®, Hilton® and Westin®. Approximately 85% of our hotels (as measured by sales) are currently managed by Marriott International or its affiliates and branded under the Marriott or Ritz-Carlton brand names. The majority of our properties are located in central business districts of major cities, near airports and in resort/conference destinations. The target profile for our portfolio includes luxury and upper-upscale full-service properties in urban and resort/conference destinations that benefit from significant barriers to entry by competitors. Though hotels meeting this target profile will still be subject to competitive pressures, we believe this will allow us to maintain room rate and occupancy premiums over our competitors. We also seek to maximize the value of our portfolio through aggressive asset management by assisting the managers of our hotels in maximizing property operations and by completing strategic capital improvements.
The majority of our customers fall into three broad groups: transient business, group business, and contract business, approximately 57%, 41% and 2%, respectively, of our business in 2005. Similar to the majority of the lodging industry, we further categorize business within these segments based on characteristics they have in common as follows:
Transient demand broadly represents individual business or leisure travelers and is divided into four key sub-categories: premium, corporate, special corporate and discount. Overall, business travelers make up approximately 80% of transient demand at our hotels, with leisure travelers making up the remainder. Therefore, our business will be more significantly affected by trends in business travel versus leisure demand:
Group demand represents clusters of guestrooms booked together, usually with a minimum of 10 rooms. Examples include a company training session or a social event such as a family reunion. Group business is segmented into the following three key sub-categories:
The final segment is contract demand, which refers to blocks of rooms sold to a specific company for an extended period of time at significantly discounted rates. Contract rates are usually utilized by hotels that are located in markets that are experiencing consistently low levels of demand. Airline crews are typical generators of contract demand for our hotels.
Our hotels are operated by third-party managers under long-term agreements under which they typically earn base and incentive management fees related to the revenues and profitability of each individual hotel. We provide operating funds, or working capital, which the managers use to operate the property, including purchasing inventory and paying wages, utilities, property taxes and other expenses. We generally receive a cash distribution, which reflects hotel-level sales less property-level operating expenses (excluding depreciation), from our hotel managers each four week or monthly accounting period, depending on the manager.
Hotel revenue is approximately 97% of our total revenue. The following table presents the components of our hotel revenue as a percentage of our total revenue:
Hotel operating expenses are approximately 98% of our total operating costs and expenses. The following table presents the components of our hotel operating expenses as a percentage of our total operating costs and expenses:
The expense components listed above are based on those presented in our consolidated statement of operations. It is also worth noting that wage and benefit costs are spread among various line items, however, taken separately these costs represent approximately 50% of our total expenses, making wages and benefits the most significant component of our cost structure.
Key Performance Indicators
We have several key indicators that we use to evaluate the performance of our business. Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, is a commonly used measure within the hotel industry to evaluate hotel operations. RevPAR is defined as the product of the average daily room rate charged and the average daily occupancy achieved. RevPAR does not include revenues from food and beverage or parking, telephone, or other guest services generated by the property. Although RevPAR does not include these ancillary revenues, it is generally considered the leading indicator of core revenues for many hotels. We also use RevPAR to evaluate the results of individual hotels between periods and our comparable hotels. See Comparable Hotel Operating Statistics for further discussion of what we consider to be our comparable hotels.
RevPAR changes driven predominately by occupancy have different implications on overall revenue levels as well as incremental operating profit than do changes driven predominately by average room rate. For example, increases in occupancy at a hotel would lead to increases in rooms revenues and ancillary revenues, such as food and beverage, as well as additional incremental costs (including housekeeping services, utilities and room amenity costs). RevPAR increases due to higher room rates, however, would not result in these additional room-related costs. For this reason, while operating profit typically increases when occupancy rises, RevPAR increases due to higher room rates would have a greater impact on our profitability.
A related revenue measure for our hotels is the RevPAR penetration index. The RevPAR penetration index reflects each propertys RevPAR in relation to the RevPAR for that propertys competitive set. We use the measure as an indicator of a propertys market share. For example, a RevPAR penetration index of 100 would indicate that a hotels RevPAR is, on average, the same as its competitors. A RevPAR penetration index exceeding 100 would indicate that a hotel maintains a RevPAR premium in relation to its competitive set, while a RevPAR penetration index below 100 would be an indicator that a hotel is underperforming its competitive set. One critical component in this calculation is the determination of a hotels competitive set. Factors that we consider include geographic proximity, as well as the level of service provided at the property. For example, a hotel located near a convention center might have a competitive set that includes other hotels located in close proximity to the convention center. Additionally, a luxury hotel might include other luxury or upper-upscale hotels in its competitive set but not economy hotels. Competitive set determinations are highly subjective, however, and our methodology for determining a hotels competitive set may differ materially from those used by other owners and/or managers.
We assess profitability by measuring changes in our operating margin, which is operating profit as a percentage of total revenue. Another key profitability indicator we use is hotel adjusted operating profit which is a non-GAAP measure, and which is used to evaluate the profitability of our comparable hotels. Hotel adjusted operating profit measures property-level results before debt service and is a supplemental measure of individual property-level profitability. The comparable hotel adjusted operating profit that we discuss is an aggregation of the adjusted operating profit for each of our comparable hotels. See Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresComparable Hotel Operating Results for further discussion. We also use, among other things, FFO per diluted share as a supplemental measure of company-wide profitability. See Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresFFO per diluted share for further discussion. Each of the non-GAAP measures should be considered by investors as supplemental measures to GAAP performance measures such as total revenues, operating profit and earnings per unit.
On November 14, 2005, we announced that we had signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 38 luxury and upper-upscale hotels from Starwood for approximately $4.04 billion. The portfolio consists of 25 domestic and 13 international properties and a total of 18,964 rooms managed under the Westin®, Sheraton®, W Hotels®, The Luxury Collection® and St. Regis® brands (collectively, the Starwood Portfolio). As part of the acquisition, we expect to assume approximately $554 million of debt and to issue approximately $2.3 billion of
equity (133,529,412 common shares at the exchange price of $17.00 per share) to Starwood stockholders. The remainder of the purchase price will be paid in cash. In connection with the completion of the Starwood acquisition, we intend to change our name to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and to change the New York Stock Exchange symbol that our common stock is traded under to HST.
The acquisition is expected to close in early April 2006, and is subject to the approval of our stockholders, as well as other closing conditions. The acquisition is subject to a number of terms and conditions that could delay or prevent the closing of the acquisitions, or result in modifications, such as the exclusion of particular hotels due to the failure to obtain required consents or certain other developments. See Risk FactorsRisks Related to the Acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio.
The Starwood Portfolio is comprised of luxury and upper-upscale hotels located primarily in urban, convention or resort destinations with an average size of approximately 500 rooms including six city-center hotels with over 750 rooms. The portfolio is geographically diverse both domestically and internationally, with most assets located in markets with strong growth profiles and limited near-term supply. The portfolio includes 13 international properties, which will expand our geographic distribution into new markets outside of the United States. Six hotels representing 15% of the portfolio (by revenue) are located in Europe, and three hotels representing 10% of the portfolio revenues are in Canada. Additional hotels are located in Fiji and in Chile. As a result of the acquisition, our percentage of revenues from international hotels will increase from approximately 3% to approximately 9%. We believe that many of these international markets are in the early stages of lodging recovery, offering the opportunity for additional growth outside of the domestic lodging cycle. In addition, we will increase our presence in key domestic markets such as New York, Boston, San Diego and Seattle as a result of this acquisition.
We are also expanding an important relationship with Starwood, and thereby diversifying our brand representation. The portfolio consists of 20 Sheraton®, 13 Westins®, two W® hotels, one St. Regis® hotel, one The Luxury Collection® hotel and one additional unbranded hotel. With the addition of these hotels, 53% of our portfolio (by revenue) will consist of Marriott-branded hotels, while Westin-branded hotels will represent 9%, up from 1% prior to the acquisition, and Sheraton and W-branded hotels will represent 14% and 2%, respectively. Currently, we do not own any Sheraton or W-branded hotels. In addition, we expect to work with Starwood to add value to the portfolio through aggressive asset management and believe that our expanded relationship will foster additional growth opportunities for both companies in the future.
Upon completion of the acquisition, we expect to be one of the largest lodging companies in the U.S. and the sixth-largest public REIT. We will own 140 luxury and upper-upscale hotels with approximately 72,000 rooms that are affiliated with 17 brands located in over 50 markets in nine countries.
We have received commitments from Goldman Sachs Credit Partners, L.P., Deutsche Bank AG Cayman Islands Branch, Bank of America Bridge LLC and Merrill Lynch Capital Corporation in an aggregate amount of up to $1.67 billion, which is sufficient to fund the cash portion of the purchase price of the transactions. The bridge loan facility has a term, excluding extensions, of one year.
We expect to permanently finance the $1.213 billion cash portion of the purchase price for the transactions through available cash proceeds from a combination of (i) asset sales of existing assets of approximately $670 million (including the Swissôtel The Drake, New York, the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott, the Albany Marriott, Chicago Marriott Deerfield Suites and the Marriott at Research Triangle Park), (ii) sales of joint venture interests related to the six European assets to be acquired and (iii) the issuance or other incurrence of indebtedness to repay any remaining draws on the bridge loan facility. We are in discussions with third parties regarding such a joint venture and expect that we would retain approximately 25% to 35% of the equity interests in the joint venture while obtaining approximately $550 million to $575 million of financing, including new debt to be issued by the joint venture but excluding our portion of the capital contributions to the joint venture. Depending upon the timing of the closing of the asset sales and permanent financing transactions, proceeds therefrom may be used to repay the bridge loan facility.
The following table sets forth the location and number of rooms of hotels included in the Starwood Portfolio:
For 2005, RevPAR for our comparable hotels increased 9.5% as compared to 2004. Improvements in RevPAR at our comparable hotels for 2005 were primarily driven by significant increases in average room rates and, to a lesser extent, by increases in occupancy. This is a result of a number of positive trends, such as strong United States GDP growth, low growth in the supply of new luxury and upper-upscale hotels and the strengthening in the group and transient segments of our business. As a result of these trends, we expect comparable hotel RevPAR to increase approximately 7% to 10% for 2006.
We expect the supply growth of luxury and upper-upscale hotels to continue to be low for the next two to three years. Although always subject to uncertainty, supply growth is relatively easier to forecast than demand growth due to the long permit, approval and development lead-times associated with building new full-service hotels or expanding existing full-service hotels. Based on data provided by Lodging Econometrics, luxury and upper-upscale hotel supply growth in the top 25 U.S. markets is expected to increase by approximately 1.4% and 1.9% in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
The performance of our portfolio is also significantly affected by the results of our large hotels, including our convention hotels, the majority of which are located in major urban markets. Convention hotels have historically outperformed in the early stages of an industry downturn; however, they also lag the industry in performance in the early stages of recovery. This primarily is due to the longer booking lead-time for large group business and the need for transient demand in a market to recover to more substantial levels given a greater capacity of rooms. In 2005, we saw significant improvement in the operations of our convention hotels in certain markets, such as New York City and Washington D.C. Our large hotels situated in weaker markets continue to lag the portfolio, but we are beginning to see signs of improving market strength in several of these markets including Boston and to a lesser extent San Francisco. We have also recently initiated major projects at our convention hotels in Atlanta and Orlando with the intention of enhancing their competitive market position and improving performance. We expect increasing demand to continue to improve operations at our large convention hotels as markets strengthen, which should positively affect margin and RevPAR growth.
Operating margins improved in 2005, as the average room rate increases at our hotels significantly exceeded the rate of inflation, a trend we expect to continue. Operating margins continue to be affected, however, by certain costs, primarily wages, benefits, utilities and sales and marketing, which increased at a rate greater than inflation, a trend that we also expect to continue in the near term. We expect utility costs to increase by over 10% in 2006, although these costs represent only approximately 3.6% of our revenues. Additionally, as a result of the large-scale devastation due to hurricanes this year, we expect insurance costs, which were approximately 1% of our total costs and expenses in 2005, to increase in 2006 at a rate that significantly exceeds inflation.
In addition, several markets have union contracts that expire in 2006, including New York, Hawaii, Chicago, Toronto, Boston and Los Angeles. The union contracts in San Francisco expired in 2004. One outcome of these negotiations could be potential increases in labor costs (by increased wages, benefits and/or changes in work rules that increase costs). Any increases in labor costs are likely to increase labor costs in these markets generally, including at non-union hotels, because of competitive pressure to pay market wages. Other potential affects of these negotiations could include temporary disruptions in group bookings and/or hotel operations and it is difficult to predict their outcome at this time, although we do not believe the outcome of these negotiations will have a material effect on our 2006 results of operations.
Operating margins are also affected by our food and beverage operations, which represented 30% of our 2005 revenues. During 2005, food and beverage revenue growth at our comparable hotels was 5.6%, with a food and beverage margin increase of 0.9 percentage points. As the economy continues to grow, we expect food and beverage revenue to continue to increase, in particular catering revenue, which should result in further improvement in our operating margins.
We also expect to see improvements in RevPAR and operating margins as we continue our strategy of recycling assets. Over the past two years, we have acquired individual luxury and upper-upscale properties in
urban and resort/convention destinations, where further large-scale lodging development typically is limited, and have disposed of individual assets primarily in suburban and secondary markets. The assets we have acquired have higher RevPAR, higher margins and, we believe, higher growth potential than those we have sold. Over time, these assets should contribute to improvements in overall RevPAR and margins, as well as an increase in the average per room replacement cost of our portfolio. The expected RevPAR for the Starwood Portfolio is roughly comparable to the RevPAR for our current hotel portfolio.
During 2005, the average RevPAR penetration index for our comparable hotels declined slightly as we continued to work with our managers to optimize the market positioning and business mix of our hotels. We believe that this decline in market share has occurred because:
As lodging demand continues to grow and, in particular, as corporate group and corporate transient business strengthens, we believe our RevPAR penetration index will improve.
While we believe the combination of improving demand trends and low supply trends in the lodging industry discussed here creates the opportunity for improvements in our business in 2006 and 2007, there can be no assurances that any increases in hotel revenues or earnings at our properties will continue for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, slower than anticipated growth in the economy and changes in travel patterns. All of the above, as well as the risks set forth in the section Forward-Looking Statements, may result in lower revenues or higher operating costs and declining operating margins.
Based on forecasted operating conditions, our key management priorities over the next several years include the following:
Consistent with these priorities, we acquired the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for approximately $274 million in 2005. We sold five non-core properties for approximately $149 million and completed the sale of 85% of our interest in the CBM Joint Venture LLC, which owns 120 Courtyard by Marriott properties, for a sales price of approximately $92 million in 2005. Thus far in 2006, we have sold four properties for gross proceeds of approximately $259 million. We have also signed a definitive agreement to sell the Swissôtel The Drake, New York on or about the end of the first quarter 2006 for gross proceeds of approximately $440 million.
Additionally, we raised approximately $639 million from the issuance of our Series O senior notes in 2005. We used those funds, along with funds raised through asset dispositions, to acquire properties and to repay or refinance approximately $469 million in senior notes, $179 million in mortgage debt and $100 million of 10% redeemable preferred stock, which improved our interest coverage ratio and overall leverage ratio. Similarly, we spent approximately $107 million in 2005 on repositioning and ROI projects. We expect to spend an additional $300 million to $500 million on such investments over the next several years. By contrast, we had limited our expenditures on such development projects in 2002 and 2003 based on our assessment of the relatively weak operating environment and to preserve capital.
We believe we successfully executed on a number of these management priorities in 2005, taking advantage of the positive trends in the hotel industry noted above, as well as strong conditions in the U.S. capital markets. We also believe that the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio is a very important step in furtherance of these priorities. There can be no assurances, however, that these trends will continue or that we will be able to continue to execute on all, or any, of these priorities over the next several years.
Between December 2005 and February 10, 2006, we issued 30.8 million shares of Host common stock upon conversion of $473 million principal amount of our Convertible Subordinated Debentures and corresponding Convertible Preferred Securities. The securities were convertible at the option of the holder into shares of Host common stock at the rate of 3.2537 shares per $50 liquidation amount of Convertible Preferred Security (equivalent to a conversion price of $15.367 per share of the Companys common stock). As of February 11, 2006, $2 million of subordinated debentures and corresponding preferred securities remain outstanding and the right to convert those securities into Host common stock has expired. We intend to redeem these securities in the second quarter of 2006.
On January 10, 2006, we issued mortgage debt in the amount of $135 million Canadian Dollars ($116 million US Dollars based on the exchange rate on the date of issuance) with a fixed interest rate of 5.195%. The mortgage debt is secured by four of our Canadian properties and matures on March 1, 2011. On January 13, 2006, a portion of the proceeds were used to repay the $20 million outstanding balance under our credit facility.
In 2006, we have sold, or have, subject to customary closing conditions, signed contracts to sell five properties (the Swissôtel The Drake, New York; the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott; the Albany Marriott; the Marriott at Research Triangle Park; and the Chicago Marriott Deerfield Suites) for expected total proceeds of approximately $700 million and a total estimated gain in excess of $380 million. We expect to use the proceeds from the sales to partially fund the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio and for other corporate purposes.
We recently negotiated amendments to various management agreements with Marriott International and agreed, among other matters, to waive performance termination tests through the end of fiscal year 2009, to modify certain extension tests which condition the managers ability to renew the management agreements, and to extend certain contracts for ten additional years. As part of this negotiation, Marriott International in turn
agreed to make a cash payment to us, to reduce an existing cap on the costs and expenses related to chain services that are provided on a centralized basis, as well as to establish a cap on certain other costs, to provide us with an incentive to increase our capital expenditures at the hotels through 2008, to waive certain deferred management fees, and to modify the incentive management fee on certain contracts. In addition, we agreed to use a portion of Marriott Internationals cash payment for brand reinvestment projects at various hotels in our portfolio.
Results of Operations
The following table reflects certain line items from our audited statements of operations and other significant operating statistics (in millions, except operating statistics and percentages):
2005 Compared to 2004
Hotel Sales Overview. Hotel sales increased $303 million, or 8.7%, to approximately $3.8 billion for 2005. Hotel sales include approximately $152 million and $59 million for 2005 and 2004, respectively, of sales from hotels acquired in 2005 and 2004. Sales for properties sold in 2005 or 2004 or classified as held-for-sale as of December 31, 2005 have been reclassified as discontinued operations on our condensed consolidated statements of operations. See Discontinued Operations below.
We discuss operating results for our full-service hotels on a comparable basis. Comparable hotels are those properties that we have owned for the entirety of the reporting periods being compared. Comparable hotels do not include the results of properties acquired or sold, or that incurred significant property damage and business interruption or large scale capital improvements during these periods. As of December 31, 2005, 98 of our 107 full-service hotels have been classified as comparable hotels. The following discussion is of the sales results of our comparable hotels considering the mix of business (i.e. transient, group or contract), property type (i.e. urban, suburban, resort/conference or airport) and geographic region. See Comparable Hotel Operating Statistics for a complete description of our comparable hotels and further detail on these classifications. Comparable hotel sales increased 7.7% to approximately $3.6 billion for 2005. The revenue growth reflects the increase in comparable RevPAR of 9.5%, as a result of an increase in average room rates of 7.6% and an increase in occupancy of 1.2 percentage points. Food and beverage revenues for our comparable hotels increased 5.6%, primarily due to an increase in catering and outlet revenues.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Customer Mix. Demand was strong in 2005, enabling our operators to significantly increase average daily room rates, particularly in the premium and corporate transient segments. For our comparable Marriott hotels, which represent 78% of our total comparable rooms, premium and corporate transient average daily rates increased 12.6% when compared to last year. Our overall transient average room rate for these hotels increased 10.2%. The gap between transient and group rate widened in 2005 indicating pricing power is strong. With increased levels of transient demand, we expect our managers to continue aggressive growth in room rates in 2006.
Total group room revenue for our comparable Marriott hotels increased 6.2% compared to last year, primarily due to an increase in average room rates of approximately 5.0%. Room rates for groups should continue to improve in 2006, as a lower percentage of group business would have been booked for those periods in 2004 or earlier when room rates were significantly lower than those our managers were able to charge. Currently, group booking pace has declined modestly for 2006, reflecting our managers strategy of keeping more rooms available for the higher-rated transient segments. However, we are experiencing meaningful growth in the average daily rate of our definitive group business for 2006.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Property Type. For 2005, revenues increased significantly across all of our hotel property types, led by our airport hotels with a comparable hotel RevPAR increase of 10.1%, which reflected an average room rate increase of 8.2%. Our urban hotels performed well in 2005, with comparable hotel RevPAR growth of 9.9% to $140.63. The significant increase in comparable hotel RevPAR at our urban properties was primarily driven by an increase in average room rate of 7.8%, while average occupancy improved by 1.4 percentage points. Our resort/conference hotels had comparable hotel RevPAR growth of 6.8% to $153.82, with average room rate growth of 7.1%. These hotels include many of our Florida hotels, which experienced a decline in RevPAR in the fourth quarter due to Hurricane Wilma. Our suburban hotels experienced a comparable hotel RevPAR increase of 9.9%, which reflected an average room rate increase of 7.7%.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Geographic Region. For full year 2005, the majority of our geographic regions experienced strong growth in comparable hotel RevPAR with the DC Metro, Mountain, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific regions all experiencing double-digit growth rates.
Our DC Metro region had a comparable hotel RevPAR increase of 15.0%. The improvement was driven by consistent strong performance at all of our hotels in the region, which benefited from solid group and business transient demand. Overall, comparable hotel RevPAR increases for the region reflected an average room rate increase of 11.5% and an average occupancy increase of 2.4 percentage points.
Our Mountain region experienced a comparable hotel RevPAR increase of 14.9%, led by a 16.2% RevPAR increase at our three comparable hotels in the Denver market. We also experienced an 11.2% RevPAR growth at our hotels located in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
Comparable hotel RevPAR for our Mid-Atlantic region increased 12.1%. The increase was driven by the performance at our three New York City hotels with comparable hotel RevPAR growth of 17.0%, which was the strongest RevPAR growth in any of our major urban markets for the year. Strong group, transient and international demand has strengthened the performance in the New York City market.
Our Pacific region had a comparable hotel RevPAR increase of 10.2%, as we experienced strong RevPAR growth in the Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Diego markets.
Comparable hotel RevPAR in our Florida region grew by 5.9% as a result of comparable hotel RevPAR increases at our Tampa and Miami/Fort Lauderdale hotels of 6.2% and 11.0%, respectively. The regions fourth quarter results were significantly affected by business interruption due to Hurricane Wilma, which struck Southern Florida in October.
Our Atlanta region rebounded from a difficult third quarter (RevPAR decline of 3.7%) to post a full year RevPAR increase of 5.8%, after a strong 13.4% fourth quarter RevPAR increase. The rebound for the region is
attributable to strong transient business demand, which was supplemented by the relocation of two city-wide events from New Orleans.
Comparable hotel RevPAR for our New England region increased 3.4%. Our hotels in the Boston market, which had underperformed during the first three quarters of 2005, had a strong fourth quarter with RevPAR growth of 9.3%, which resulted in an annual RevPAR growth of 5.0%. We expect operating growth at these properties to improve in 2006 based on expected increases in convention activity and an overall improvement in the Boston economy.
The North Central region of our portfolio experienced an increase in comparable hotel RevPAR of 6.8% as average room rates increased 6.9%. The region was led by our Chicago hotels, where RevPAR increased 7.9%.
Overall, comparable hotel results in our South Central region, which includes Texas and Louisiana, were not significantly affected by Hurricane Katrina. However, the operations of the New Orleans Marriott, which is considered a non-comparable hotel, have been, and will continue to be, affected by the large-scale devastation in New Orleans. RevPAR in the region grew by 9.3%, driven primarily by strong increases in occupancy and average room rate at our three properties in Houston, which benefited from business resulting from the evacuation of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Comparable hotel RevPAR for our international properties increased 9.0%. Our four Canadian properties, three of which are in Toronto, experienced an increase in comparable hotel RevPAR of 10.4%.
Rental Income. Our rental income represents lease income from our 71 leased limited-service hotels and three office property leases, as well as lease income from one full-service hotel. The $5 million improvement in rental income primarily is from operations at the leased limited-service hotel properties which have continued to improve as a result of the stronger economy and the completion of a major renovation projects at most of these properties in 2004.
Property-level Operating Costs. Property-level operating costs and expenses increased 6.1% to approximately $3.3 billion for 2005. Property-level operating costs and expenses exclude the costs for hotels we have sold and held for sale at December 31, 2005, which are included in discontinued operations. Our operating costs and expenses, which are both fixed and variable, are affected by changes in occupancy, inflation and revenues, though the effect on specific costs will differ. For example, utility costs increased 15.8%, primarily due to increases in oil and gas prices, while the increase in management fees of 20.6% were a direct result of the growth in the revenues and profitability of our properties. We expect the number of hotels reaching these thresholds and the incentive management fees earned to increase in 2006. We expect operating costs to continue to increase in 2006 as a result of variable costs increasing with occupancy increases, and certain costs increasing at a rate above inflation, particularly utilities, wages and benefits and insurance.
During 2005, we incurred property damage to six properties located in New Orleans and various sites in Florida due to Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Wilma. Our insurance policy provides us with reimbursement for the replacement cost for the damage done to these assets. As a result, we have written off the approximate $38 million book value of the damaged assets, which includes certain repair and clean-up costs. The write off of the assets has been completely offset by the establishment of an insurance receivable and, accordingly, there is no effect on the statement of operations. Further, to the extent that our insurance settlement proceeds are in excess of the amounts written off, we will record a gain on insurance settlement in the period that all releases and contingencies are resolved. To date, we have received approximately $3 million in insurance proceeds related to our property damage claim.
Corporate and Other Expenses. Corporate and other expenses, which totaled $67 million in both 2005 and 2004, primarily consist of employee salaries and bonuses and other costs such as employee stock-based compensation expense, corporate insurance, audit fees, building rent and system costs.
Gain on Insurance Settlement. The gain on insurance settlement in 2005 relates to $9 million of business interruption insurance proceeds received as a result of lost profit at our New Orleans Marriott following
Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. We expect to recognize additional gains as a result of insurance proceeds for property damage in 2006, once all of our claims have been resolved. In 2004, the gain on insurance settlement represents $3 million of business interruption proceeds that we received in connection with the loss of business at our Toronto hotels due to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Interest Income. Interest income increased $10 million, primarily due to increases in the interest rates earned on cash and restricted cash balances.
Interest Expense. Interest expense decreased $40 million as a result of the decrease in our interest-bearing obligations from 2004 and 2005 debt repayments and refinancings, as well as a decline in the amount of prepayment penalties associated with debt repayments and refinancings. Specifically, interest expense includes $30 million for 2005 and $55 million for 2004 for the call premiums and the acceleration of deferred financing costs and original issue discounts associated with debt prepayments. These declines in interest expense were partially offset by increased interest rates for our variable rate debt.
Net Gains on Property Transactions. Net gains on property transactions increased $63 million, primarily due to the pre-tax gain of $69 million on the sale of 85% of our interest in CBM Joint Venture LLC.
Gain (Loss) on Foreign Currency and Derivative Contracts. The gain on foreign currency and derivative contracts primarily is due to the $2 million increase in the fair value of the foreign currency exchange contracts on two of our Canadian hotels. These agreements were terminated in the fourth quarter of 2005. The $6 million loss in 2004 is primarily due to the $7 million decline in the fair value of the contracts.
Minority Interest Expense. As of December 31, 2005, we held approximately 95% of the partnership interests in Host LP. The increase in our minority interest expense for 2005 primarily is due to the increase in the net income of Host LP, as well as the net income of certain of our consolidated hotel partnerships that are partially owned by third parties.
Equity in Earnings (Losses) of Affiliates. Equity in losses of affiliates decreased by $15 million due to the sale of 85% of our interest in CBM Joint Venture LLC during March 2005 which reduced our ownership percentage in the joint venture from 50% to 3.6%. Additionally, the joint venture, which had recorded net losses throughout 2004, has recorded net income since the sale in March 2005. See discussion in Business and Properties, Other Real Estate Investments.
Benefit from (provision for) income taxes. The increase in the provision for income taxes primarily reflects the $28 million tax expense from the sale of 85% of our interest in CBM Joint Venture LLC.
Discontinued Operations. Discontinued operations consist of the results of operations and the gain or loss on disposition of five hotels sold in 2005 and nine hotels sold in 2004, as well as the operations of two hotels classified as held for sale at December 31, 2005. For 2005 and 2004, revenues for these properties were $61 million and $196 million, respectively, and income before taxes was $9 million and $22 million, respectively. We recognized a gain, net of tax, of $19 million and $52 million for 2005 and 2004, respectively, on the disposition of these hotels.
2004 Compared to 2003
Hotel Sales Overview. Hotel sales increased 11.4% to approximately $3.5 billion for 2004. Hotel sales for 2004 include approximately $59 million of sales for the three hotels acquired in 2004 and exclude sales for the properties we have sold or classified as held for sale as of December 31, 2005 for all periods presented, which have been reclassified to discontinued operations. See Discontinued Operations below.
We discuss operating results for our full-service hotels on a comparable basis. As of December 31, 2004, 103 of our full-service hotels were classified as comparable hotels. Comparable hotel sales increased 6.4% to
approximately $3.4 billion. The growth in revenues reflects the increase in comparable RevPAR of 7.3% for 2004, as a result of a strong increase in occupancy of 2.9 percentage points, and an increase in average room rate of 2.9%. Food and beverage revenues for our comparable hotels increased 5.7%, primarily due to an increase in catering revenues and the overall increase in occupancy.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Customer Mix. Continuing a trend we noted in the first three quarters of 2004, the business mix of our portfolio is showing a shift in transient room nights, from lower-rated discount business to higher-rated corporate and premium business.
For 2004, total transient room revenue for our comparable Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels was up 6.8% compared to last year, as premium and corporate occupancy increased to 29.3% of total transient demand, up from 25.8% last year, while our average transient room rate increased by 5.4%. This indicates that our hotel managers had greater success in reducing the number of rooms sold at discounted rates as a result of improving transient demand.
For 2004, total group room revenue for our comparable Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels was up 8.2% compared to last year, primarily due to an increase in occupancy of approximately 7.5%, while our average group room rate was up slightly, or 0.7%. This increase reflects the increased business travel and the steady growth in the economy. Additionally, our managers improved overall occupancy by accepting greater numbers of advance room reservations for groups, which resulted in fewer rooms available for transient business.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Property Type. For full year 2004, revenues increased consistently across all of our hotel property types. Comparable hotel RevPAR increased 6.8%, 6.4%, 7.0% and 12.0% for urban, suburban, resort/conference and airport properties, respectively. The largest increases were for our airport hotels, which reflected a significant increase in business travel in 2004 compared with the significantly depressed levels of 2002 and 2003.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Geographic Region. During 2004, we experienced RevPAR gains in most regions. Full year 2004 comparable hotel RevPAR in our New England region improved 11.0% over the prior year. The region benefited from the Democratic National Convention during the third quarter and was led by the Hyatt Regency Boston, which was converted from the Swissôtel brand in late 2003, where RevPAR improved by 25.6% for the year.
Comparable hotel RevPAR increased 9.2% for our DC Metro region due primarily to a 5.2% increase in average room rates in 2004. Growth was slowed during the year by rooms renovations at four of our hotels in the region.
For our Atlanta region, comparable hotel RevPAR grew by 6.0%. The improvement was led by The Grand Hyatt, Atlanta, The Four Seasons, Atlanta and The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, where RevPAR increased 9.7%, 10.9% and 9.9%, respectively.
Our Pacific region, which had lagged behind the portfolio as a whole during 2002 and 2003, continued to improve as comparable hotel RevPAR increased 8.0%, with significant increases in occupancy. The primary reason this region had been underperforming over the past three years was the decline in travel related to the areas technology companies, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area. The improvement in the Pacific region in 2004 reflects an increase in comparable hotel RevPAR at our San Francisco market hotels of 14.5%. The results for the Pacific region also reflect a 6.5% increase in comparable hotel RevPAR at our properties in the Los Angeles market.
Comparable hotel RevPAR in our Mid-Atlantic region improved 10.7% over the prior year. Our New York City properties benefited from the Republican National Convention in the third quarter and strong demand in the fourth quarter of 2004.
For 2004, comparable hotel RevPAR in the Florida region improved 7.1% over 2003. During August and September, four hurricanes caused significant damage in Florida. Our 12 properties in the region and the New Orleans Marriott experienced varying levels of property damage and business interruption. During 2004, we recorded $3 million of non-recoverable losses.
RevPAR in other regions was relatively unchanged from 2003. RevPAR declined 0.9% in our South Central region, while RevPAR in our North Central and Mountain regions experienced comparable RevPAR increases of 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.
Comparable hotel RevPAR for our international properties increased 17.5% for 2004. Our four Canadian properties, three of which are in Toronto, experienced increases in RevPAR of 24.5%, as the region has recovered from the SARS related travel restrictions in 2003 and the effect of the favorable appreciation of the Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar.
Rental Income. Our rental income represents lease income from our 71 leased limited-service hotels and three office property leases, as well as lease income from one full-service hotel. In 2003, operations at the leased limited-service hotel properties suffered because a significant portion of these properties underwent renovations to enable them to compete with newer hotels and the weak economic conditions in their markets. While several leased properties still were under renovation in 2004, the properties that underwent renovations in 2003 performed substantially better. This was the primary reason for the increase in total rental income of $6 million to $106 million during 2004.
Property-level Operating Costs. Property-level operating costs and expenses increased 8.2% to approximately $3.1 billion. Property-level operating costs and expenses exclude the costs for hotels we have sold and held for sale, which are included in discontinued operations. Comparable hotel expenses increased 5.1% to approximately $2.6 billion. The increase in operating costs and expenses is due to additional costs associated with an increase in occupancy at our hotels and an increase in wage, benefit, utility and sales and marketing costs. Operating costs and expenses also include base and incentive management fees, which are earned based on the operating performance of our individual hotels.
Corporate and Other Expenses. Corporate and other expenses primarily consist of employee salaries and bonuses and other costs such as employee stock-based compensation expense, corporate insurance, audit fees, building rent and system costs. During 2004, these expenses increased $7 million, primarily due to an increase in stock compensation expense as a result of the significant appreciation in our stock price since December 31, 2003 and an increase in the number of shares that we may issue that are subject to performance criteria established by the Compensation Policy Committee of the Board of Directors.
Interest Expense. During 2004, interest expense decreased $5 million. Interest expense for 2004 includes $32 million of interest which was previously classified as dividends on Convertible Preferred Securities. Interest expense includes $55 million and $31 million of call premiums and accelerated deferred financing costs and original issue discounts that were associated with debt prepayments made in 2004 and 2003, respectively. After excluding these items, interest expense decreased approximately $60 million due to the significant amount of debt repayments and refinancings that occurred in 2003 and 2004.
Net Gains on Property Transactions. Net gains on property transactions are due primarily to the recognition of deferred gains. In 1994, we sold a portfolio of Fairfield Inns by Marriott and received a note receivable in partial payment. Subsequently, we recorded a loss on the note due to a decline in the operations of the hotels. During 2004, the owner of the hotels filed for bankruptcy and several properties were sold. We recognized a previously deferred gain of approximately $12 million based on the amount of the proceeds we received.
Loss on Foreign Currency and Derivative Contracts. During 2004, the loss on foreign currency and derivative contracts is primarily due to the approximate $7 million loss from the foreign currency exchange
contracts related to mortgage debt that was secured by three of our Canadian hotels for the majority of 2004, as the value of the U.S. dollar continued to decline in relation to the Canadian dollar. These contracts were deemed ineffective for hedge accounting purposes in 2003, which resulted in an $18 million loss at that time.
Minority Interest Expense. Minority interest expense consists of our minority partners share of the income or loss in consolidated hotel partnerships and the approximate 6% ownership in Host LP.
Equity in Losses of Affiliates. Equity in losses of affiliates consists of our portion of the earnings (losses) of two partnerships in which we own non-controlling interests. The decrease in the loss can be attributed to a decrease in the net loss of CBM Joint Venture LLC in 2004 and an increase in the income from our investment in Tiburon Golf Ventures, L.P.
Discontinued Operations. Discontinued operations consist of the results of operations and the gain or loss on disposition of five hotels sold in 2005, nine hotels sold in 2004, eight hotels sold in 2003, and the gain on the disposition and business interruption proceeds for the New York Marriott World Trade Center hotel in 2003, as well as the operations of two hotels classified as held for sale at December 31, 2005. For 2004 and 2003, revenues for these properties were $196 million and $500 million, respectively, and income before taxes for the same periods was $22 million and $200 million, respectively. We recognized a gain, net of tax, of $52 million and $65 million for 2004 and 2003, respectively, on the disposition of these hotels.
Comparable Hotel Operating Statistics
We present certain operating statistics (i.e., RevPAR, average daily rate and average occupancy) and operating results (revenues, expenses and adjusted operating profit) for the periods included in this report on a comparable hotel basis. We define our comparable hotels as full-service properties (i) that are owned or leased by us and the operations of which are included in our consolidated results, whether as continuing operations or discontinued operations, for the entirety of the reporting periods being compared, and (ii) that have not sustained substantial property damage or business interruption, or undergone large-scale capital projects during the reporting periods being compared. Of the 107 full-service hotels that we owned on December 31, 2005, 98 have been classified as comparable hotels. The operating results of the following nine hotels that we owned as of December 31, 2005 are excluded from comparable hotel results for these periods:
Additionally, the operating results of the fourteen hotels we disposed of in 2005 and 2004 also are not included in comparable hotel results for the periods presented herein. Moreover, because these statistics and operating results are for our full-service hotel properties, they exclude results for our non-hotel properties and leased limited-service hotels.
We evaluate the operating performance of our comparable hotels based on both geographic region and property type. These divisions are generally consistent with industry data provided by hospitality research firms such as Smith Travel Research.
Geographic regions consist of the following (only states in which we own hotels are listed):
Property types consist of the following:
The following table sets forth performance information for our comparable full-service hotels by geographic region and property type as of December 31, 2005 and 2004:
The following statistics are for all of our full-service properties for the year ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, including the results of operations for five hotels sold in 2005 and nine hotels sold in 2004:
Liquidity and Capital Resources
We use cash primarily for acquisitions, capital expenditures, debt payments and dividends to stockholders. As a REIT, we are required to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our taxable income. Funds used to make these dividends are provided from Host LP. We depend primarily on external sources of capital to finance future growth, including acquisitions.
Cash Balances. As of December 31, 2005, we had $184 million of cash and cash equivalents, which was a decrease of $163 million from December 31, 2004. The decrease primarily is attributable to the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for a purchase price of approximately $274 million of available cash, significant capital expenditures during the year, the redemption of our preferred stock and dividend payments. These cash outlays were partially offset by an increase in cash provided by operations and proceeds from hotel sales. As a result, we have now reduced our cash balances closer to the $100 million to $150 million level that we have historically maintained based on the flexibility and capacity provided by our credit facility and the continuing growth of the economy.
As of December 31, 2005, we also had $109 million of cash that was restricted as a result of lender requirements, which was a decrease of $45 million from December 31, 2004 (including reserves for debt service, real estate taxes, insurance, as well as cash collateral and excess cash flow deposits). On October 31, 2005, escrowed funds held in accordance with restrictive debt covenant requirements of approximately $71 million were released to us as a result of meeting certain conditions. The remaining restricted cash balances do not have a significant effect on our liquidity.
We have approximately $173 million of debt that will mature in 2006, in addition to principal amortization of $55 million. However, $88 million of this debt can be extended for three one-year terms if certain conditions are met. We believe we have sufficient cash, or availability under our line of credit to deal with our near-term maturities as well as any potential decline in the cash flow from our business.
On October 14, 2005, we borrowed approximately $100 million of our available capacity under our credit facility to retire the remaining mortgage on our Canadian properties and for general corporate purposes, of which $80 million was repaid during the fourth quarter with the release of the restricted cash discussed above and available cash. The remaining balance was repaid in the first quarter of 2006.
Acquisitions. In 2005, we acquired the 834-room Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for a purchase price of approximately $274 million. During 2005, we also purchased the ground lease associated with the Chicago Marriott Suites OHare for approximately $5 million. In 2004, we acquired three properties for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $502 million, including the assumption of $34 million in debt. During 2004, we also purchased a retail building adjacent to one of our hotels and the land under the JW Marriott Hotel at Lenox in Atlanta, which we previously leased, for a combined total of approximately $30 million.
In addition to the pending acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio, we remain interested in pursuing single asset and portfolio acquisitions, both domestically and abroad. We believe there will continue to be opportunities in the near term and over the next several years to acquire assets that are consistent with our target profile of luxury and upper-upscale properties in urban and resort/convention destinations where further large scale development is limited.
We may acquire properties through various structures, including transactions involving portfolios, single assets, joint ventures and acquisitions of all or substantially all of the securities or assets of other REITs or similar real estate entities. We anticipate that our acquisitions will be financed through a combination of methods, including proceeds from equity offerings of Host, issuance of OP units by Host LP, advances under our credit facility, our available cash and the incurrence or assumption of indebtedness. We may, from time to time, be in the process of identifying, analyzing and negotiating possible acquisition transactions and we expect to continue to do so in the future. We cannot be certain as to the size or timing of acquisition opportunities or of our ability to obtain additional acquisition financing, if needed. Additionally, the number of potential acquirers for individual hotel properties has increased due to the improvement of both the capital markets and the lodging industry and, as a result, the cost of acquiring properties has increased. We can provide no assurance that we will continue to be able to find acquisition targets that provide a suitable return on investment.
Debt Repayments and Refinancings. Reducing future interest payments and leverage remains a key management priority. For the year ended December 31, 2005, we had a net reduction in total debt of approximately $153 million as a result of repayments, redemptions and amortization of principal. This reduction in debt does not reflect the conversion or redemption of the Convertible Subordinated Debentures, which further reduced our debt balance by approximately $385 million early in 2006. Additionally, we refinanced approximately $609 million of our debt in 2005 and $830 million of our debt in 2004. The combined effect of the transactions during 2005 and 2004 lowered our average interest rate by approximately 50 basis points since 2003 to 7.2% as of December 31, 2005 and we have a weighted-average maturity of 6.4 years.
We may continue to redeem or refinance senior notes and mortgage debt from time to time to take advantage of favorable market conditions. We may purchase senior notes for cash through open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, a tender offer or, in some cases, through the early redemption of such securities pursuant to their terms. Repurchases of debt, if any, will depend on prevailing market conditions, our liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors. Any refinancing or retirement before the maturity date would affect earnings and FFO per diluted share, as defined below, as a result of the payment of any applicable call premiums and the acceleration of previously deferred financing costs. Specifically, interest expense includes $30 million for 2005 and $55 million for 2004 for the call premiums and the acceleration of deferred financing costs and original issue discounts associated with debt prepayments.
Capital Expenditures. For 2005, our renewal and replacement capital expenditures were approximately $242 million. Our renewal and replacement capital expenditures generally are funded by the furniture, fixture
and equipment funds established at certain of our hotels (typically funded with approximately 5% of property revenues) and by our available cash.
For 2005, we spent approximately $107 million on repositioning/ROI projects. We completed the renovation and repositioning of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel in December 2005 at a cost of approximately $60 million, which includes the addition of a spa and 20 new luxury suites, redesigned guest rooms, a new restaurant concept and updated meeting space. We also recently began work on a planned investment of approximately $70 million for the development of an exhibit hall for the Marriott Orlando World Center Hotel. These projects have historically generated strong returns and, over the next several years, we expect to spend approximately $300 million to $500 million on such investments.
Sources and Uses of Cash
Our principal sources of cash are cash from operations, the sale of assets, borrowing under our credit facility and our ability to obtain additional financing through various capital markets. Our principal uses of cash are debt service, asset acquisitions, capital expenditures, operating costs, corporate and other expenses and distributions to equity holders.
Cash Provided by Operations. Our cash provided by operations for 2005 increased $148 million to $512 million from $364 million for 2004 due primarily to the increase in operating profit in 2005.
Cash Used in Investing Activities. Cash used in investing activities for 2005 declined by $76 million to $429 million when compared to 2004. Activity for 2005 included the sale of five non-core hotels for net proceeds of approximately $122 million and the sale of 85% of our interest in the CBM Joint Venture LLC for $92 million. Additionally, we increased our capital expenditures by $98 million to $349 million in 2005 as part of our strategy to maximize the value of our existing portfolio. Investing activities in 2005 also include the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for approximately $274 million.
Activity for 2004 primarily included the acquisition of three hotel properties and other assets for total cash expenditures of approximately $503 million, the net proceeds of approximately $246 million from the sale of nine non-core hotels, and capital expenditures at our properties of approximately $251 million.
In the first quarter of 2006 we sold the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott for $146 million and three non-core hotels for proceeds of $113 million. We have also committed to sell the Swissôtel The Drake, New York on or about the end of the first quarter 2006 for gross proceeds of approximately $440 million. The Drake is currently part of the collateral securing our $548 million CMBS loan and, as part of the sale, The Drake will be removed from the collateral and the Hyatt Regency Washington will be provided as substitution collateral. We believe that additional dispositions for 2006 will be approximately $200 million to $300 million. The net proceeds from any dispositions will be used to fund the purchase of the Starwood Portfolio, repay debt, fund acquisitions or repositioning/ROI projects or for general corporate purposes.
The following table summarizes significant investing activities that have been completed since the beginning of fiscal year 2004 (in millions):
Cash Used in Financing Activities. Cash used in financing activities, net, was $246 million and $276 million for 2005 and 2004, respectively. During 2005, cash provided by financing activities included the issuance of debt securities for approximately $639 million, net of financing costs, while cash used in financing activities primarily consisted of debt prepayments of approximately $631 million and the redemption of $100 million of preferred stock. See the table below for additional information. In connection with the redemptions of senior notes and prepayment of mortgage debt in 2005, we were required to pay premiums totaling approximately $27 million in exchange for the right to retire this debt in advance of its maturity.
During 2005, our common dividend payments increased $83 million to $102 million when compared to 2004 due to the improvements in operations that resulted in an increase in taxable income. At the same time, dividends on our preferred stock declined by $7 million when compared to 2004 to $30 million due to the redemption of $100 million of our 10% Class B preferred stock in May 2005.
During 2004, approximately $1.2 billion of cash was provided by financing activities through the issuance of equity and debt securities, while cash used in financing activities primarily consisted of debt prepayments of approximately $1.2 billion. See the table below for additional information. In connection with the redemptions of
senior notes in 2004, we were required to pay premiums totaling approximately $40 million in exchange for the right to retire this debt in advance of its maturity. On August 3, 2004, we redeemed all 4.16 million shares of HMCs 10% Class A preferred stock for approximately $104 million with the proceeds from the issuance of 4 million shares of the 8 7/8% Class E preferred shares and available cash. The table below summarizes other significant debt (net of deferred financing costs) and equity transactions (not including the conversions of our Convertible Subordinated Debentures in 2005 and 2006, as these are non-cash transactions) since January 2004:
As of December 31, 2005, our total debt was $5.4 billion with a weighted average interest rate of approximately 7.2% and a weighted average maturity of 6.4 years. Additionally, approximately 85% of our debt has a fixed rate of interest.
As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, our debt was comprised of:
General. The following summary is a description of the material provisions of the indentures governing our various senior notes issues by the operating partnership, which we refer to collectively as the senior notes indenture. Under the terms of our senior notes indenture, our senior notes are equal in right of payment with all of the operating partnerships unsubordinated indebtedness and senior to all subordinated obligations of the operating partnership. The notes outstanding under our senior notes indenture are guaranteed by certain of our existing subsidiaries and currently are secured by pledges of equity interests in many of our subsidiaries. The guarantees and pledges ratably benefit the notes outstanding under our senior notes indenture, as well as our credit facility, certain other senior debt, and interest rate swap agreements and other hedging agreements with lenders that are parties to the credit facility. We pay interest on each series of our outstanding senior notes semi-annually in arrears at the respective annual rates indicated on the table above.
Restrictive Covenants. Under the terms of the senior notes indenture, our ability to incur indebtedness and pay dividends is subject to restrictions and the satisfaction of various conditions, including the achievement of an EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio of at least 2.0x by the operating partnership. This ratio is calculated in accordance with our senior notes indenture and excludes from interest expense items such as interest on our Convertible Subordinated Debentures, call premiums and deferred financing charges that are included in interest expense on our consolidated statement of operations. Additionally, the calculation is based on our pro forma results for the four prior fiscal quarters giving effect to the transactions, such as acquisitions, dispositions and financings, as if they occurred at the beginning of the period. Other covenants limiting our ability to incur indebtedness and pay dividends include maintaining total indebtedness (excluding our Convertible Subordinated Debentures) of less than 65% of adjusted total assets (using undepreciated real estate values) and secured indebtedness of less than 45% of adjusted total assets. So long as we maintain the required level of interest coverage and satisfy these and other conditions in the senior notes indenture, we may pay preferred or common dividends and incur additional debt under the senior notes indenture, including debt incurred in connection with an acquisition. Our senior notes indenture also imposes restrictions on customary matters, such as limitations on capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, transactions with affiliates and the incurrence of liens.
Exchangeable Senior Debentures. On March 16, 2004, we issued $500 million of 3.25% Exchangeable Senior Debentures and received proceeds of $484 million, net of underwriting fees and expenses and an original issue discount. These debentures were issued under our senior notes indenture, and are the only series of senior notes that are exchangeable into common stock. The Exchangeable Senior Debentures mature on April 15, 2024 and are equal in right of payment with all of our unsubordinated debt. Interest is payable quarterly in arrears on January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15 of each year. We can redeem for cash all, or part of, the Exchangeable Senior Debentures at any time subsequent to April 19, 2009 upon 30 days notice at the applicable redemption price as set forth in the indenture. Holders have the right to require us to repurchase the Exchangeable Senior Debentures on April 15, 2010, April 15, 2014 and April 15, 2019 at the issue price. The Exchangeable Senior Debentures currently are exchangeable into shares of common stock at a rate of 56.1319 shares for each $1,000 of principal amount of the debentures, or a total of approximately 28 million shares, which is equivalent to an exchange price of $17.82 per share of common stock. The exchange rate may be adjusted under certain circumstances, including the payment of common dividends. Holders may exchange their Exchangeable Senior Debentures prior to maturity under certain conditions, including at any time at which the closing sale price of the common stock is more than 120% of the exchange price per share, for at least 20 of 30 trading days. The Exchangeable Senior Debentures and the common stock issuable upon exchange of the debentures have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold except to qualified institutional buyers, as defined. We have a shelf registration statement that currently is effective with respect to the resale of the common stock issuable upon exchange of the debentures.
General. On September 10, 2004, we entered into an amended and restated credit facility. The credit facility replaced our prior credit facility and provides aggregate revolving loan commitments in the amount of $575 million. The credit facility also includes sub-commitments for the issuance of letters of credit in an aggregate amount of $10 million and loans to certain of our Canadian subsidiaries in Canadian Dollars in an aggregate amount of $150 million. The credit facility has an initial scheduled maturity in September 2008. We have an option to extend the maturity for an additional year if certain conditions are met at the time of the initial scheduled maturity. We also have the option to increase the amount of the credit facility by up to $100 million to the extent that any one or more lenders, whether or not currently party to the credit facility, commits to be a lender for such amount. As of December 31, 2005, we had approximately $20 million outstanding under our credit facility, which was subsequently repaid in the first quarter of 2006.
As with the prior facility, the debt under the amended credit facility is guaranteed by certain of our existing subsidiaries and currently is secured by pledges of equity interests in many of our subsidiaries. The guarantees and pledges ratably benefit our credit facility as well as the notes outstanding under our senior notes indenture,
certain other senior debt, and interest rate swap agreements and other hedging agreements with lenders that are parties to the credit facility. As with the prior facility, the pledges are permitted to be released in the event that our leverage ratio falls below 6.0x for two consecutive fiscal quarters.
Dual Tranche Structure. Unlike our prior facility, the revolving loan commitment under the amended credit facility is divided into two separate tranches: (1) a Revolving Facility A tranche of $385 million and (2) a Revolving Facility B tranche of $190 million. Subject to compliance with the facilitys financial covenants, amounts available for borrowing under Revolving Facility A vary depending on our leverage ratio, with $385 million being available when our leverage ratio is less than 6.5x, $300 million being available when our leverage ratio equals or exceeds 6.5x but is less than 6.75x, $150 million being available when our leverage ratio equals or exceeds 6.75x but is less than 7.0x, and no amounts being available when our leverage ratio equals or exceeds 7.0x. By contrast, the entire amount of Revolving Facility B is available for borrowing at any time that our unsecured interest coverage ratio equals or exceeds 1.5x and our leverage ratio does not exceed levels ranging from 7.5x to 7.0x. Specifically, prior to the end of our third quarter of 2007, we are permitted to make borrowings and maintain amounts outstanding under Revolving Facility B so long as our leverage ratio is not in excess of 7.5x; the maximum leverage ratio applicable to Revolving Facility B is then reduced to 7.25x from the end of the third quarter of 2007 until the day prior to end of our third quarter of 2008, and is reduced to 7.0x thereafter.
Financial Covenants. We are subject to different financial covenants depending on whether amounts are borrowed under Revolving Facility A or Revolving Facility B, and we are permitted to convert amounts borrowed under either tranche into amounts borrowed under the other tranche. While the financial covenants applicable under Revolving Facility A are generally comparable to those contained in our prior facility (including covenants for leverage, fixed charge coverage and unsecured interest coverage), the financial covenants applicable to Revolving Facility B are limited to leverage and unsecured interest coverage, and are set at less restrictive levels than the corresponding covenants applicable to Revolving Facility A. As a result of this structure, we have gained flexibility to make and maintain borrowings in circumstances where adverse changes to our financial condition could have prohibited the maintenance of borrowings under the prior facility. The financial covenants for the Revolving Facility A and Revolving Facility B do not apply when there are no borrowings under the respective tranche. Hence, so long as there are no amounts outstanding we are not in default of the credit facility if we do not satisfy the financial covenants and we do not lose the potential to draw under the amended credit facility in the future if we were ever to come back into compliance with the financial covenants. We are in compliance with all our covenants as of December 31, 2005.
The following table summarizes the financial tests contained in the credit facility through 2007:
Interest and Fees. We pay interest on borrowings under the Revolving Facility A at floating interest rates plus a margin (which, in the case of LIBOR-based borrowings, ranges from 2.00% to 3.00%) that is set with reference to our leverage ratio. Borrowings under Revolving Facility B are subject to a margin that is 0.5% higher than the corresponding margin applicable to Revolving Facility A borrowings and .75% higher when our
leverage ratio is greater than 7.0x. As with the prior facility, to the extent that amounts under the amended credit facility remain unused, we pay a quarterly commitment fee on the unused portion of the loan commitment.
Other Covenants. Our amended credit facility imposes restrictions on customary matters that were also restricted in our prior facility, such as limitations on capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, the incurrence of debt and the payment of dividends. While such restrictions are generally similar to those contained in our prior facility, we have modified certain covenants to become less restrictive at any time that our leverage ratio falls below 6.0x. In particular, at any time that our leverage ratio is below 6.0x, we will not be subject to limitations on capital expenditures, and the limitations on acquisitions, investments and dividends will be replaced by the generally less restrictive corresponding covenants in our senior notes indenture.
First Amendment. On January 30, 2006, we entered into an amendment to our credit facility in anticipation of the closing of the acquisition of the Starwood portfolio and associated financing transactions, including, among other things, the anticipated bridge loan facility. The amendment authorizes the collateral agent under the credit facility to amend the associated pledge and security arrangements to share the benefit of the pledge and security agreement collateral with creditors under the bridge loan facility and creditors under certain other indebtedness that may be incurred or assumed in connection with the acquisition of the Starwood portfolio. In addition, whereas the credit facility previously permitted such collateral to be released at any time that our leverage ratio falls below 6.0x for two consecutive quarters, the amendment requires that such collateral be maintained so long as any loans or commitments under the bridge loan facility are incurred and remain outstanding.
General. As of December 31, 2005, we had 23 assets that were secured by mortgage debt. Substantially all of our mortgage debt is recourse solely to specific assets except in instances of fraud, misapplication of funds and other customary recourse provisions. As of December 31, 2005, secured debt represented approximately 34% of our total debt and our aggregate secured debt had an average interest rate of 7.8% and an average maturity of 4.2 years. Over time, we expect to reduce the amount of our secured debt as a percentage of our total debt. We may refinance secured debt with other financing alternatives, such as senior notes, although there can be no assurances that we will achieve this objective.
As a result of the decline in operations of our properties in 2002 and 2003, restrictive covenants on eight of our hotel properties secured by a $548 million mortgage loan, which we refer to as the CMBS Loan, were triggered. These hotel properties are the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Overlooking Boston, the Hyatt Regency Reston, the Hyatt Regency Boston, the Swissôtel The Drake, New York, the Westin Buckhead Atlanta, and the Swissôtel Chicago, which we refer to as the CMBS Portfolio. The CMBS Loan contains a provision that requires the mortgage servicer to retain certain excess cash flow from the CMBS Portfolio after payment of debt service if net cash flow after payment of taxes, insurance, ground rent and reserves for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the trailing twelve months declines below $96 million. This provision was triggered beginning in the third quarter of 2002 and remained in effect until the CMBS Portfolio generated the necessary minimum cash flow for two consecutive quarters, at which point, the cash that had been escrowed will be returned to us. As of the end of the third quarter 2005, operating cash flow from these properties for the past two quarters met the levels required to release the escrowed funds under the CMBS loan and on October 31, 2005 escrowed funds in the amount of approximately $71 million were released to us. Additionally, in conjunction with the anticipated sale of The Drake on or about the end of the first quarter 2006, it will be removed as collateral securing the CMBS loan and the recently acquired Hyatt Regency Washington will be substituted as collateral.
On October 17, 2005, we retired the remaining mortgage secured by two of our Canadian properties with the prepayment of approximately $19 million. During January 2006, we issued mortgage debt in the amount of $135 million Canadian Dollars ($116 million US Dollars based on the exchange rate on the issuance date) with a fixed interest rate of 5.195%, which is secured by four of our Canadian properties and matures on March 1, 2011.
The following table summarizes our outstanding debt and scheduled amortization and maturities related to mortgage and other debt as of December 31, 2005 (in millions):
Currently, we have $3.1 billion of senior notes outstanding and $250 million of preferred stock that are rated by Moodys Investors Service and Standard & Poors. On November 8, 2005, Standard and Poors upgraded the rating on our senior debt from a B+ rating to a BB- rating and upgraded the rating on our preferred stock from a CCC+ rating to a B- rating. On October 13, 2005, Moodys upgraded our senior notes debt from a Ba3 rating to a Ba2 rating and the preferred stock from a B2 rating to a B1 rating. While we have no senior note maturities until 2007, if our operations or our credit ratios were to decline, the ratings on our securities could be reduced. If we were unable to subsequently improve our credit ratings, our cost to issue additional senior notes, either in connection with a refinancing or otherwise, or to issue additional preferred stock would likely increase.
Host Dividend Policy
Host is required to distribute to its stockholders at least 90% of its taxable income to qualify as a REIT, including taxable income recognized for tax purposes but with regard to which we do not receive corresponding cash. Funds used by Host to pay dividends on its common and preferred stock are provided through distributions from Host LP. For every share of common and preferred stock of Host, Host LP has issued to Host a corresponding common OP unit and preferred OP unit. Currently, Host is the owner of substantially all of the preferred OP units and approximately 95% of the common OP units. The remaining 5% of the common OP units are held by various third-party limited partners.
As a result of the minority position in Host LP common OP units, these holders share, on a pro rata basis, in amounts being distributed by Host LP. As a general rule, when Host pays a common or preferred dividend, Host LP pays an equivalent per unit distribution on all common or corresponding preferred OP units. For example, if Host paid a twelve cent per share dividend on its common stock, it would be based on payment of a twelve cent per unit distribution by Host LP to Host as well as other common OP unit holders. For these reasons, investors also should take into account the 5% minority position in Host LP, and the requirement that they share pro rata in distributions from Host LP, when analyzing dividend payments by Host to its stockholders.
Hosts current policy on common dividends is generally to distribute at least 100% of its taxable income, unless otherwise contractually restricted. Host currently intends to continue paying dividends on its preferred stock, regardless of the amount of taxable income, unless similarly contractually restricted. The amount of any dividends will be determined by Hosts Board of Directors.
The following table sets forth cash distributions on our common stock during 2006, 2005 and 2004.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements and Contractual Obligations
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We are party to various transactions, agreements or other contractual arrangements with unconsolidated entities (which we refer to as off-balance sheet arrangements) under which we have certain contingent liabilities and guarantees. As of December 31, 2005, we are party to the following material off-balance sheet arrangements:
Tax Sharing Arrangements. Under tax sharing agreements with former affiliated companies (such as Marriott International, Host Marriott Services Corporation and Barceló Crestline Corporation), we are obligated
to pay certain taxes (federal, state, local and foreign, including any related interest and penalties) relating to periods in which the companies were affiliated with us. For example, a taxing authority could adjust an item deducted by a former affiliate during the period that this former affiliate was owned by us. This adjustment could produce a material tax liability that we may be obligated to pay under the tax sharing agreement. Additionally, under the partnership agreement between Host and Host LP, Host LP is obligated to pay certain taxes (federal, state, local and foreign, including any related interest and penalties) incurred by Host, as well as any liabilities the IRS may successfully assert against Host. We do not expect any amounts paid under the tax sharing arrangements to be material.
Tax Indemnification Agreements. For reasons relating to tax considerations of the former and current owners of five hotels, we have agreed to restrictions on selling the hotels, or repaying or refinancing the mortgage debt for varying periods depending on the hotel. These agreements require that we indemnify the owners for their tax consequences resulting from our selling the hotel or refinancing the mortgage debt during the period under the agreement. We also have agreed not to sell more than 50% of the original allocated value attributable to a portfolio of 11 additional hotels, or to take other actions that would result in the recognition and allocation of gain to the former owners of such hotels for income tax purposes. Because the timing of these potential transactions is within our control, we believe that the likelihood of any material indemnification to be remote and therefore not material to our financial statements. On average, these restrictions will generally expire, or cease to be significant, in 2009.
Guarantees. We have certain guarantees, which consist of commitments we have made to third parties for leases or debt, that are not on our books due to various dispositions, spin-offs and contractual arrangements, but that we have agreed to pay in the event of certain circumstances including default by an unrelated party. We consider the likelihood of any material payments under these guarantees to be remote. The largest guarantees (by dollar amount) are listed below:
Information on other guarantees and other off-balance sheet arrangements may be found in Note 17 to our consolidated financial statements.
The table below summarizes our obligations for principal and estimated interest payments on our debt, future minimum lease payments on our operating and capital leases and projected capital expenditures, each as of December 31, 2005 (in millions):
Critical Accounting Policies
Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with GAAP, which requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. While we do not believe the reported amounts would be materially different, application of these policies involves the exercise of judgment and the use of assumptions as to future uncertainties and, as a result, actual results could differ from these estimates. We evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to the impairment of long-lived assets, on an ongoing basis. We base our estimates on experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. All of our significant accounting policies are disclosed in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. The following represent certain critical accounting policies that require us to exercise our business judgment or make significant estimates:
Changes in these estimates, assumptions, future changes in economic conditions, or property-level results could require us to record additional impairment charges, which would be reflected in operations in the future.
To the extent a property is classified as held for sale and its fair value less selling costs is lower than the net book value of the property, we will record an impairment loss. See the discussion above concerning the use of estimates and judgments in determining fair values for impairment tests.
Application of New Accounting Standards
In December 2004, the FASB issued SFAS No. 123R, Share-Based Payment (FAS 123R), which requires that the cost resulting from all share-based payment transactions be recognized in the financial statements. The statement requires a public entity to measure the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the grant-date fair value of the award (with limited exceptions). That cost will be recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the awardthe requisite service period (usually the vesting period). No compensation cost is recognized for equity instruments for which employees do not render the requisite service. Employee share purchase plans will not result in recognition of compensation cost if certain conditions are met; those conditions are much the same as the related conditions in FAS 123. We adopted the fair value provisions of FAS 123 in 2002 and, therefore, have recognized the costs associated with all share-based payment awards granted after January 1, 2002. The provisions of FAS 123R are effective as of January 1, 2006. The adoption of this standard in 2006 will not have a material effect on our financial position and results of operations.
In March 2005, the FASB issued FASB Interpretation No. 47, Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations, an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 143 (FIN 47), which clarified the term conditional asset retirement obligation as used in FASB Statement No. 143. A conditional asset retirement obligation refers to a legal obligation to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and (or) method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within the control of the entity. The obligation to perform the asset retirement activity is unconditional even though uncertainty exists about the timing and (or) method of settlement. As a result of the issuance of this statement, we will recognize the fair value of the liability for any conditional asset retirement obligations when incurred, which is generally upon acquisition, construction, or development and (or) through the normal operation of the asset, if sufficient information exists to reasonably estimate the fair value of the obligation. The adoption of this interpretation did not have a material impact on our financial position or results of operations.
Reporting Periods for Consolidated Statement of Operations
The results we report are based on results of our hotels reported to us by our hotel managers. Our hotel managers use different reporting periods. Marriott International, the manager of the majority of our properties, uses a year ending on the Friday closest to December 31 and reports twelve weeks of operations for the first three quarters and sixteen or seventeen weeks for the fourth quarter of the year for its Marriott-managed hotels. In contrast, other managers of our hotels, such as Hyatt, report results on a monthly basis. Host, as a REIT, is required by tax laws to report results on a calendar year. As a result, we elected to adopt the reporting periods used by Marriott International modified so that our fiscal year always ends on December 31 to comply with REIT rules. Our first three quarters of operations end on the same day as Marriott International but our fourth quarter ends on December 31 and our full year results, as reported in our statement of operations, always includes the same number of days as our calendar year.
Two consequences of the reporting cycle we have adopted are: (1) quarterly start dates will usually differ between years, except for the first quarter which always commences on January 1, and (2) our first and fourth quarters of operations and year-to-date operations may not include the same number of days as reflected in prior years. For example, set forth below are the quarterly start and end dates for 2006, 2005 and 2004. Note that the second and third quarters of each year both reflect twelve weeks of operations. In contrast, the first and fourth quarters reflect differing days of operations.