Host Hotels & Resorts 10-K 2008
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 HOTELS & RESORTS, INC.
(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. x
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 15, 2007 (based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 15, 2007) was approximately $11,992,638,290.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the registrants definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and delivered to stockholders in connection with its annual meeting of stockholders to be held on May 14, 2008 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a Maryland corporation that operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, or REIT. Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. owns properties and conducts operations through Host Hotels & Resorts, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, of which Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is the sole general partner and in which it holds approximately 97% of the partnership interests. In this report, we use the terms we or our to refer to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and Host Hotels & Resorts, L.P. together, unless the context indicates otherwise. We also use the term Host to specifically refer to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and the term Host LP to refer to Host Hotels & Resorts, L.P. (and its consolidated subsidiaries), in cases where it is important to distinguish between Host and Host LP.
As of February 25, 2008, our lodging portfolio consisted of 119 luxury and upper upscale hotels containing approximately 63,900 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, Mexico City, Mexico and Santiago, Chile. Additionally, we own a 32.1% interest in a European joint venture that owns ten luxury and upper-upscale hotels located in Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium and the United Kingdom with approximately 3,200 rooms.
The address of our principal executive office is 6903 Rockledge Drive, Suite 1500, Bethesda, Maryland, 20817. Our phone number is 240-744-1000.
Where to Find Additional Information
We maintain an internet website at: www.hosthotels.com. Through our website, we make available free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (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 Relations section of our website, we have a Corporate Governance page that includes, among other things, copies of our Bylaws, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics 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 standing committee of our Board of Directors, which currently are: the Audit Committee, the Compensation Policy Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Copies of our Bylaws and these charters and policies are also available in print to stockholders upon request to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., 6903 Rockledge Drive, Suite 1500, Bethesda, Maryland 20817, Attn: Secretary.
The Lodging Industry
The lodging industry in the United States consists of 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.
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. Between 2003 and 2007, broad growth in the economy led to increases in demand. By contrast, slower economic growth and lower levels of capital investment typically slow the rate of demand growth for the lodging industry. We believe demand growth will be weaker in 2008, consistent with the predicted decline in the growth rate of the U.S. economy.
Lodging supply growth is generally driven by overall lodging demand, as extended periods of strong demand growth tend to encourage new development. However, the rate of supply growth is also influenced by a number of additional factors including availability of capital, interest rates, construction costs and unique market considerations. Additionally, the relatively long lead-time required to complete the development of hotels, while making supply growth relatively easier to forecast than demand growth, increases the volatility of the cyclical behavior of the lodging industry. As a result, 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. As lodging demand has strengthened, there has been an increase in the pace of new hotel construction from its cyclical lows. However, the majority of new projects scheduled for completion in the near-term are concentrated in the mid-scale and economy segments, are outside of major urban markets, and generally have less than 200 rooms. Therefore, we do not expect most of the new hotel supply to directly compete with our core portfolio. We also believe the timing of certain of these projects may be affected by increased building costs and the availability of financing, which may dampen the pace of new supply development beyond 2008.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is an operational measure commonly used in the hotel industry to evaluate hotel performance. RevPAR represents the product of the average daily room rate charged and the average daily occupancy achieved but excludes other revenue generated by a hotel property, such as food and beverage, parking, telephone and other guest service revenues. 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 2003 to 2007 based on data provided by Smith Travel Research.
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. As the largest REIT owner of luxury and upper upscale properties in the U.S., we are in a unique position to work with the managers of our hotels to increase revenues while minimizing operating costs. The size and composition of our portfolio and our affiliation with most of the leading operators and brands in the industry 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.
Another key component of our asset management strategy is our capital expenditure programs. These programs are designed to increase profitability by maximizing the value of our portfolio and maintaining our high standards for product quality, as well as those of our managers. We also continually explore opportunities to utilize our properties, or a portion of our properties, for more valuable or profitable purposes. Our asset management and design and construction departments review potential capital improvements to ensure that each of our properties is in high quality physical condition, highly competitive in the market and consistent with brand standards on a continuing basis. Our capital expenditures generally fall into three broad categories: renewal and replacement expenditures, return on investment (or ROI)/repositioning capital expenditures and value enhancement projects.
Renewal and replacement capital expenditures. We work closely with our managers to ensure that renewal and replacement expenditures are spent efficiently to maximize the profitability of the hotel. Typically, room refurbishments occur at intervals of approximately seven years, but the timing 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 and meeting room chairs and tables and are generally not replaced as frequently. Infrastructure includes the physical plant of the hotel, including the roof, elevators, façade and fire systems, which are regularly maintained and then replaced at the end of their useful lives.
ROI/repositioning capital expenditures. In addition, we pursue opportunities to enhance asset value by completing selective capital improvements outside the scope of typical renewal and replacement capital expenditures. These projects include, for example, significant repositionings of guest rooms, lobbies or food and beverage platforms and expanding ballroom, spa or conference facilities. In certain instances, these
ROI/repositioning projects have coincided with the timing of regular maintenance cycles at the properties where we have used the opportunity to significantly improve and upgrade the hotel. These projects are also designed to take advantage of changing market conditions and the favorable location of our properties. Examples of these projects include the completion of the 105,000 square foot exhibit hall at the Orlando World Center Marriott, which opened in October 2007, and several significant projects at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, including the construction of new food and beverage facilities, renovation of all existing break-out space and the construction of a new 26,000 square foot ballroom.
Value enhancement projects. We also will continue to seek opportunities to enhance the value of our portfolio by identifying and executing strategies that maximize the highest and best use of all aspects of our properties, such as the development of timeshare or condominium units on excess land. For example, we expect to begin the development of approximately 130 timeshare units on a beachfront parking lot at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa during 2008. We also sold the Marriott Mountain Shadows Resort, which had been closed since the fourth quarter of 2004, for $42 million in January 2007. As these projects typically require approvals from state or local regulatory agencies or other third parties, it can be difficult to predict the timing of these projects or whether we will be able to achieve our value enhancement objectives.
Acquisitions. Our acquisition strategy focuses on luxury and upper upscale hotels both domestically and internationally. While recent acquisition opportunities have been limited, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities to acquire these hotels at attractive multiples of cash flow and at discounts to replacement cost. Our acquisition strategy continues to focus on:
Over the last five years, we have acquired 35 properties, including a portfolio of 25 domestic and three international properties from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., (Starwood) on April 10, 2006 (collectively, the Starwood Portfolio). We have also purchased properties through our European joint venture that was formed in 2006 and now owns 10 hotels in five countries. Domestically, we did not complete any acquisitions during 2007 due to several factors. During the first half of the year, increased demand for premium assets (particularly from private equity funds and other buyers as a result of the availability of favorable debt financing) and continued strong lodging fundamentals caused significant upward pressure on asset prices. However, as the credit markets weakened in the second half of the year, favorable debt financing was not available and few luxury and upper-upscale hotels were marketed to be sold. We continue to focus on asset purchases internationally through our European joint venture. For instance, our European joint venture in which we hold a 32.1% interest, purchased the 262-room Renaissance Brussels Hotel, the 218-room Brussels Marriott and the 57-unit Marriott Executive Apartments in July 2007.
Capital structure and liquidity profile. We continually evaluate our capital structure and liquidity profile in order to maintain an appropriate balance of debt and equity in order to weather softer periods of lodging demand which may arise due to the inherent volatility of the industry while maintaining the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities which may arise. Specifically, we seek to maintain sufficient margins to operate our business under the financial covenants in our senior notes indenture and a balanced debt maturity schedule. Additionally, as a REIT, we are required to distribute 90% of our taxable income to our stockholders, and, as a result, generally must rely on external sources of capital to finance our growth. Therefore, we will use a variety of debt and equity vehicles to fund our external growth including senior notes and mortgage debt, convertible
debentures, common and preferred stock offerings, issuances of Host LP partnership units and joint ventures/limited partnerships to best take advantage of the prevailing market conditions.
Joint Ventures. We expect to continue to utilize joint ventures to finance external growth. We believe joint ventures provide a significant means to access external capital and spread the inherent risk of hotel ownership to all of the partners, while still providing significant opportunities for positive returns on investment for our stockholders. We are focusing our investment efforts on joint ventures in international markets, such as in Europe, Asia and Latin America, which will also help to diversify our exposure to market risk. Generally, we intend to earn a promoted interest, as well act as the asset manager of the properties, for which we will receive an asset management fee.
Dispositions. Similarly, we have taken advantage of market conditions to sell 38 hotels at favorable prices over the past five years, including nine properties sold in 2007. However, the ability of prospective purchasers to obtain acquisition financing has recently been adversely affected by uncertainty in the financial markets caused by disruption to the subprime mortgage markets. Proceeds from dispositions have been, or will be, used to repay debt, fund acquisitions, fund ROI and repositioning projects, or for general corporate purposes. Generally, the properties that we dispose of are non-core hotels that are located in secondary and tertiary markets where we believe the potential for growth is lower. We will also dispose of core assets, such as the 2006 sale of our Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott and the Swissôtel, The Drake, New York, when we have the opportunity to capitalize on value enhancement strategies and apply the proceeds to other business objectives.
Host is a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). Host operates through an umbrella partnership REIT structure in which substantially all of its properties and assets are held by Host LP, of which Host is the sole general partner and holds approximately 97% of the outstanding partnership interests with the remaining 3% of the partnership interests held by third parties. Each unit of the partnership interests in Host LP owned by holders other than Host is redeemable at the option of the holder for an amount of cash equal to the market value of one share of Host common stock. Host has the right, however, to acquire any unit of Host LP partnership interest offered for redemption directly from the holder in exchange for one share of Host common stock, instead of Host LP redeeming such partnership interest for cash. When distinguishing between Host and Host LP, the primary difference is the approximately 3% of the operating partnership interests of Host LP not held by us as of February 25, 2008.
Our operating structure is as follows:
Because Host is 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 certain of our subsidiaries designated as taxable REIT subsidiaries (TRS) for federal income tax purposes or to third party lessees. The lessees and our taxable REIT subsidiaries enter into agreements with third parties to manage the operations of the hotels. TRS subsidiaries may also hold assets engaging in other activities that produce non-qualifying income such as the development of timeshare or condominium units, subject to certain restrictions. The difference between the hotels net operating cash flow and the aggregate rents paid to Host LP is retained by the TRS as taxable income. Accordingly, the net effect of the TRS leases is that, while as a REIT Host is generally exempt from federal income tax to the extent that we meet specific distribution requirements, among other REIT requirements, a portion of the net operating cash flow from our properties is subject to federal, state and, if applicable, foreign income tax.
Our Hotel Properties
Overview. Our lodging portfolio primarily consists of 119 luxury and upper upscale hotels containing approximately 63,900 rooms as of February 25, 2008. Our portfolio is geographically diverse, with hotels in most of the major metropolitan areas in 26 states, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Calgary, Canada, Mexico City, Mexico and Santiago, Chile. Our locations include central business districts of major cities, near airports and resort/convention destinations that, because of their locations, typically benefit from barriers to entry by competitors. Forty-four of our hotels, which represent over 64% of our hotel revenues, have more than 500 rooms. Our properties typically include meeting and banquet facilities, a variety of restaurants and lounges, swimming pools, exercise facilities and/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 25 years, although most of the properties have benefited from substantial renovations or major additions, as well as regularly scheduled renewal and replacement and other capital improvements.
The following chart details our hotel portfolio by brand as of February 25, 2008:
The lodging industry is highly competitive. Competition is often specific to individual markets and is based on a number of factors, including location, brand, guest facilities and amenities, level of service, room rates and the quality of accommodations. The lodging industry is generally viewed as consisting of six different groupings, each of which caters to a discreet set of customer taste and needs: 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®, Four Seasons®, The Luxury Collection®, St. Regis® and W® or as upper upscale properties, under such brand names as Marriott®, Hyatt®, Westin®, Hilton®, Sheraton®, Swissôtel® and Delta®. (1) Our hotels compete with other hotels operated under brands in these groupings, as well as with the upscale or other lower-tier groupings of hotels in certain locations.
We believe our properties enjoy competitive advantages associated with the hotel brands under which they operate. The international 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. In addition, repeat guest business is enhanced by guest reward or guest recognition programs offered by most of these brands. Nevertheless, many management contracts for our hotels do not prohibit our managers from converting, franchising or developing 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.
In addition to the competition related to our current portfolio, we compete with other REITs and other public and private investors for the acquisition of new properties and investment opportunities both domestically and internationally as we attempt to position our portfolio to take best advantage of changes in markets and travel patterns of our customers.
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 16 weeks of results compared to 12 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 Condition Reporting Periods for more information on our fiscal calendar. Hotel sales have historically averaged approximately 20%, 25%, 22% and 33% for the first, second, third and fourth quarters.
Other Real Estate Investments
In addition to our hotels, we have minority partner interests in other real estate investments. 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, and the entities are not consolidated in our financial statements.
European Joint Venture
We currently own a 32.1% limited and general partnership interest in a joint venture in Europe (European joint venture) with Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, a Dutch pension fund, and Jasmine Hotels Pte Ltd, an affiliate of GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd, the real estate investment company of the Government of Singapore Investment
Corporation Pte Ltd. The initial term of the European joint venture is ten years subject to two one-year extensions with partner approval. Due to the ownership structure of the European joint venture and the non-Host limited partners rights to cause the dissolution and liquidation of the European joint venture at any time, it is not consolidated in our financial statements.
As of February 25, 2008, the European joint venture owns the following ten hotels in five countries:
We currently own a 3.6% limited partner interest in CBM Joint Venture Limited Partnership, which owns 115 Courtyard by Marriott properties. We have the right to cause the partnership to redeem our limited partner interest under certain conditions between December 2007 and December 2009. Thereafter, the general partner of the partnership has the right to redeem our remaining interest.
We own a leasehold interest in 53 Courtyard by Marriott properties and 18 Residence Inn by Marriott properties (the HPT Properties), which were sold to Hospitality Properties Trust, Inc. and leased back prior to 1997. In 1998, we subleased these 71 properties to a third party on similar terms with initial terms expiring between 2010 and 2012. The subleases 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, the third party owners of these properties will return our initial security deposit of approximately $67 million plus additional security deposits of approximately $8 million.
We also have a 49% limited partner interest in Tiburon Golf Ventures, L.P., which owns the golf club surrounding The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. 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 Note 3 Investments in Affiliates and Note 7 Leases in the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
We currently own four properties in Canada, one in Mexico and two in Chile containing approximately 2,500 rooms. Approximately 3% of our revenues were attributed to foreign operations in each of 2007, 2006 and 2005.
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.
All but one of our hotels is managed by third parties pursuant to management agreements or operating and license agreements with our TRS subsidiaries (See Operating Structure). As of February 25, 2008, twenty-three of our hotels operated by Starwood, two of our hotels operated by Hilton Hotels Corporation and our San Francisco Marriott Fishermans Wharf are operated pursuant to operating and license agreements, while our remaining hotels are operated pursuant to management agreements. Under these agreements, the managers or operators generally have sole responsibility and exclusive authority for all activities necessary for the day-to-day operation of the hotels, including establishing all room rates, processing reservations, procuring inventories, supplies and services, providing periodic inspection and consultation visits to the hotels by the managers technical and operational experts and promoting and publicizing the hotels. In addition, the manager or operator provides all managerial and other employees for the hotels, reviews the operation and maintenance of the hotels, prepares reports, budgets and projections, and provides other administrative and accounting support services to the hotels, such as planning and policy services, financial planning, divisional financial services, product planning and development, employee staffing and training, corporate executive management and certain in-house legal services. For the majority of our properties, we have approval rights over the budget, capital expenditures and other matters.
Management Agreements. Our management agreements typically include the terms described below:
Operating and License Agreements. Our operating and license agreements with Starwood (the operator with which we have the vast majority of these agreements) typically include the terms described below:
On February 25, 2008, we had 243 employees, including approximately 29 employees at the Sacramento Host Airport hotel, three at our London, England office and one at our Amsterdam, Netherlands office. Certain 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. The Sacramento Host Airport Hotel is in the process of being condemned by the City of Sacramento to facilitate an airport expansion. Our employees at the hotel will be terminated in conjunction with the condemnation in 2008. 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. For a discussion of these relationships see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition.
The statements in this section describe the major risks to our business and should be considered carefully. In addition, these statements constitute our cautionary statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Forward Looking Statements
Our disclosure and analysis in this 2007 Form 10-K and in our 2007 Annual Report to Shareholders contain some forward-looking statements that set forth anticipated results based on managements plans and assumptions. From time to time, we also provide forward-looking statements in other materials we release to the public as well as our forward-looking statements. Such statements give our current expectations or forecasts of future events; they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. We have tried, wherever possible, to identify each such statement by using words such as anticipate, estimate, expect, project, intend, plan, believe, will, target, forecast and similar expressions in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, future performance or results of current and anticipated expenses, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, the outcome of contingencies, such as legal proceedings, and financial results.
We cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statements will be realized, although we believe we have been prudent in our plans and assumptions. Achievement of future results is subject to risks, uncertainties and potentially inaccurate assumptions. Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could differ materially from past results and those anticipated, estimated or projected. You should bear this in mind as you consider forward-looking statements.
We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures we make or related subjects in our 10-Q and 8-K reports to the SEC. Also note that we provide the following cautionary discussion of risks, uncertainties and possibly inaccurate assumptions relevant to our businesses. These are factors that, individually or in the aggregate, we think could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. We note these factors for investors as permitted by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such risk factors. Consequently, you should not consider the following to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties.
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, we must finance our growth and fund debt repayments largely with external sources of capital because we are required to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our taxable income (other than net capital gain) 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, under certain circumstances, 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 debt.
As of December 31, 2007, we and our subsidiaries had total indebtedness of approximately $5.6 billion.
Our substantial indebtedness has important consequences. It currently requires us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to debt service payments, 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 90% of our taxable income (other than net capital gain) 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 make any assurances to 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 is subject to changes in travel patterns of business and leisure travelers, both of which are affected by a number of factors including the strength of the economy, the effect of terrorist attacks and terror alerts in the United States and internationally as well as other geopolitical disturbances. While our operations have improved over the past four years, changes in travel patterns of both business and leisure travelers may create difficulties for the industry over the long-term and adversely affect our results. Our results of operations, and any forecast we make, may be affected and can change based on the following risks:
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 and our credit facility contain covenants that place restrictions on us and our subsidiaries. These covenants will restrict, among 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. If we fail to meet such 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 OperationsFinancial 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 that restrict or prevent the payment of dividends on our classes and series of capital stock. Under the terms of Host LPs credit facility and senior notes indenture, 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 (concerning leverage, fixed charge coverage and unsecured interest coverage) and meet other requirements.
Foreclosure on our mortgage debt could adversely affect our business.
As of December 31, 2007, 16 of our hotels and assets related thereto are subject to mortgages in an aggregate amount of approximately $1.4 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 to occur 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 of which is defaulted, could cause a cross-default under both of these agreements. Host LPs credit facility, which contains a more restrictive cross-default provision than the senior notes indenture, provides that a credit facility default occurs 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.
An increase in interest rates would increase our interest costs on our credit facility and any variable rate debt we incur and could adversely impact our ability to refinance existing debt or sell assets.
Under our revolving credit facility, interest payments are based on floating rates. To the extent we draw on the credit facility, an increase in interest rates will reduce our cash flow available for other corporate purposes including investment in our portfolio. Further, rising interest rates could limit our ability to refinance existing debt when it matures and increase interest costs on any debt that is refinanced. We may from time to time enter into agreements such as interest rate swaps, caps, floors and other interest rate hedging contracts. While these agreements may lessen the impact of rising interest rates, they also expose us to the risk that other parties to the agreements will not perform or that the agreements will be unenforceable. In addition, an increase in interest rates could decrease the amount third parties are willing to pay for our assets, thereby limiting our ability to dispose of assets as part of our business strategy.
Rating agency downgrades may increase our cost of capital.
Both our senior notes and our preferred stock are rated by Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings. 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.
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. Most of these agreements will expire between 2008 and 2010. 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 prior to January 1, 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. In specified circumstances, we may agree to similar restrictions in connection with future hotel acquisitions.
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. 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 of Host LP, advances under our credit facility, the incurrence or assumption of indebtedness and proceeds from the sales of assets. Recent declines in credit markets may limit the ability of purchasers to finance hotels and adversely affect our disposition strategy and our ability to use proceeds to finance acquisitions. 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 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.
We have made a significant investment in a European joint venture, which owns ten hotels in Europe. We may, from time to time, invest as a co-venturer in other entities holding hotel properties instead of purchasing hotel properties directly. Co-venturers often share control over the operation of a joint venture. Actions by a co-venturer could subject the assets to additional risk as a result of any of the following circumstances:
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.
The expansion of our business into new markets outside of the United States will expose us to risks relating to owning hotels in those international markets.
Part of our business strategy is to expand our presence internationally through joint ventures. We may have difficulty managing our expansion into new geographic markets where we have limited knowledge and understanding of the local economy, an absence of business relationships in the area, or unfamiliarity with local governmental and permitting procedures and regulations. Through the European joint venture, we have ownership interests in ten hotels in five foreign countries. In addition, we also own seven other hotels located outside the United States. There are risks inherent in conducting business internationally, which include:
Any of these factors could adversely affect our ability to obtain all of the intended benefits of our joint ventures.
If we do not effectively manage our geographic expansion and successfully integrate the foreign hotels into our organization, our operating results and financial condition may be 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 Canadian Dollar, the Mexican Peso, the British Pound, the Polish Zloty and the Chilean Peso. 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, 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 or earnings.
We do not control our hotel operations and we are dependent on the managers of our hotels.
Since federal income tax laws restrict REITs and their subsidiaries from operating or managing a hotel, we do not operate or 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 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.
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, hotel 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 21% 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. Furthermore, labor agreements may limit the ability of our managers to reduce the size of hotel workforces during an economic downturn 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.
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 our 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 the manager does not consent to such sale or financing, we may be precluded from taking actions in our best interest without breaching the applicable management agreement.
Our hotels have an ongoing need for renovations and potentially significant capital expenditures to remain competitive in the marketplace, maintain brand standards or to comply with applicable laws or regulations. The timing and costs of such renovations or improvements may result in reduced operating performance during construction and may not improve the return on these investments.
In addition to capital expenditures required by our loan agreements or agreements with our hotel managers, we will need to make capital expenditures to remain competitive with other hotels, to maintain the economic value of our hotels and to comply with applicable laws and regulations. The timing of these improvements can affect hotel performance particularly if the improvements require closures of a significant number of rooms or the closure of other features of the hotels such as ballrooms, meeting space and restaurants. These capital improvements reduce the availability of cash for other purposes and are subject to cost overruns and delays. In addition, because we depend on external sources of capital, we may not have the necessary funds to invest and if we fail to maintain our properties in accordance with brand standards set by our managers, the manager may terminate the management agreement. Moreover, we may not realize a significant, or any, improvement in the performance of the hotels in which we make these investments.
Our expenses may not decrease if our revenue decreases.
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 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 December 31, 2007, 37 of our hotels are subject to third-party ground leases (encumbering all or a portion of the hotel). These ground leases generally require periodic increases in ground rent payments, which are often based on economic indicators such as the Consumer Price Index. Our ability to pay ground rental 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 may be unable to sell properties because real estate investments are inherently illiquid.
Real estate properties generally cannot be sold quickly and, accordingly, 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, we anticipate that we will conduct certain business activities, including those mentioned above, 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 assets held by 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.
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 that terrorist attacks in the United States or elsewhere could have on domestic and international markets and our business in particular 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.
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, 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 Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) effective December 26, 2007. TRIPRA replaced the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act (TRIEA) which was set to expire at the end of 2007. TRIPRA provides the same coverage as its predecessor, with one major improvement; the definition of a certified claim (a claim that triggers coverage under the program). TRIEA defined certified acts of terrorism as one which is committed on behalf of non-United States persons or interests, leaving uncovered any terroristic act committed by United States persons or interests; TRIPRA eliminates this distinction and this coverage gap. Property damage related to war and to nuclear, biological and chemical incidents is excluded under our policies. While TRIPRA will reimburse insurers for losses resulting from nuclear, biological and chemical perils, TRIPRA 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 nuclear, biological chemical or radiological (NBCR) coverage to us, and has the same ability to apply to the US Treasury for reimbursement, as provided for in TRIPRA, 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, and there are no assurances that we will be able to recover any or all of our NCBR losses under this program.
Some potential losses are not covered by insurance.
We, or our hotel managers, 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, expediting costs, landscaping replacement and natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes and the dollar amounts of these sub-limits are significantly lower than the dollar amounts of the overall coverage limit. In this regard, hotels in certain of our markets, including California and Florida have in the past and continue to be particularly susceptible to damage from earthquakes and hurricanes. Recovery under the applicable policies, however, is subject to substantial deductibles and complex calculations of lost business income. There is no assurance that this insurance, where maintained, will fully fund the re-building or restoration of a hotel impacted by an earthquake, hurricane or other natural disasters, or the income lost as a result of the damage. 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 complete coverage for risks that affect multiple properties such as earthquakes, hurricanes or certain types of terrorism.
In addition, there are other risks, such as 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 coverage.
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 part 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.
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. 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.
We may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities related to the business acquired from Starwood.
Assets and entities that we acquired from Starwood may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities for which we may have no recourse, or only limited recourse, against Starwood. In general, the representations and warranties provided by Starwood under the transaction agreement did not survive the closing of the transactions. While Starwood is required to indemnify us with respect to breaches of certain representations and warranties that did 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 we 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 our expectations, plus we may experience other unanticipated adverse effects, all of which may adversely affect our revenues, expenses, operating results and financial condition.
Finally, the indemnification agreement between us and Starwood provides that Starwood will retain certain specified liabilities relating to the assets and entities acquired by us. 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 us to incur losses or other expenses as well.
If we were to acquire other hotel portfolios in the future, we may be subject to similar risks.
Environmental problems are possible and can be costly.
We believe that our properties comply 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 remediate 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 remediation 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.
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 our outstanding Class E 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 such class of preferred stock. The amount of aggregate dividends that accrue on the Class E Preferred Stock each quarter is approximately $2.2 million.
In the event that we fail to pay the accrued dividends on our Class E Preferred Stock for any reason, including any restriction on paying such dividends under the terms of our debt instruments (as discussed above), dividends will continue to accrue on such preferred stock and we will be prohibited from paying any dividends on our common stock until all such accrued but unpaid dividends on our Class E Preferred Stock have been paid (or funds for such payment have been set aside).
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. In addition, holders of units of limited partnership interest of 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 December 31, 2007, there are approximately 18.3 million OP units outstanding that are redeemable and $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of two series of exchangeable senior debentures of Host LP that could become exchangeable under certain conditions for approximately 49 million shares of Host common stock (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 and each of our subsidiary REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of its taxable income, excluding net capital gain, regardless of 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 net 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 net capital gain for that year and any undistributed taxable income from prior years 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.
As a result of the Starwood Transactions, Host owns, through Host LP, 100% of the outstanding common stock (and a portion of the outstanding preferred stock) of two entities that have elected 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, including the distribution requirements described above.
Adverse tax consequences would apply if Host or any of our subsidiary REITs fail 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, after the Starwood Transactions, Host owns, through Host LP, two entities as of December 31, 2007, that have elected 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 qualify as a REIT. 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 (itself) 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, such as rent. For the rent paid pursuant to the hotel leases with our TRS
subsidiaries, which currently constitutes 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 must 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 characterization. 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. We lease substantially all of our hotels to our subsidiary that is taxable as a regular C corporation and that has elected to be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary with respect to Host. Each of the hotels acquired from Starwood are also 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 our 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 our 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 our subsidiary REITs would likely lose their REIT status.
Despite the REIT status of Host and our subsidiary REITs, 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 on built-in gain recognized as a result of any sale of a hotel asset 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 all of 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. In addition, we expect that we could recognize other substantial deferred tax liabilities in the future without any corresponding receipt of cash.
Notwithstanding their status as a REIT, Host and our subsidiaries (including our 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, state and foreign 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. If Host or any of its subsidiary REITs were to violate these ownership limitations, each would likely lose its REIT status.
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% excise 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 to hold our 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 are subject to the 100% excise tax.
See Section Our Hotel Properties of Item 1 above for a discussion of our hotel properties.
We are involved in various immaterial legal proceedings in the normal course of business. We are vigorously defending each of these claims.
In the following table we set forth certain information regarding those persons currently serving as our executive officers as of February 25, 2008.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades under the symbol 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 25, 2008, there were 32,517 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 25, 2008, there were 2,067 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, any 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 2007 Purchases of Equity Securities
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, 2007. The following information should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and related notes and 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.
As of February 25, 2008, we own 119 luxury and upper upscale hotel properties and we are the largest lodging REIT in the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts composite index. A REIT is a legal entity that owns real estate assets and, through payments of dividends to stockholders, is permitted to reduce or eliminate federal income taxes at the corporate level. Host operates as a self-managed and self-administered REIT and owns approximately 97% of the partnership interests of Host Hotels & Resorts, L.P., or Host LP.
Our hotels are operated under brand names that are among the most respected and widely recognized in the lodging industry. The majority of our properties are located in central business districts of major cities, near airports and in resort/convention destinations. The target profile for our portfolio includes luxury and upper upscale hotels in urban and resort/convention destinations that benefit from significant barriers to entry by competitors. The classification of a property as luxury or upper-upscale is based on lodging industry standards, which take into consideration many factors such as guest facilities and amenities, level of service and quality of accommodations. Though hotels meeting this target profile will still be subject to competitive pressures, we believe this strategy 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, which accounted for approximately 56%, 40% and 4%, respectively, of our 2007 room sales. Similar to the majority of the lodging industry, we further categorize business within these categories based on characteristics they have in common as follows:
Transient business broadly represents individual business or leisure travelers. Overall, business travelers make up the majority 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. The four key subcategories of the transient business group are:
Group business 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. The following three key sub-categories of the group business category are:
The final category 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 lower levels of demand. Airline crews are typical generators of contract demand for our hotels.
Understanding Our Performance
Our Revenues and Expenses
Our hotels are operated by third-party managers under long-term agreements under which they typically earn base and incentive management fees based on levels of the revenues and profitability of each individual hotel. We provide operating funds, or working capital, which the managers use to operate the property, including to purchase inventory and to pay wages, utilities, property taxes and other expenses. We generally receive a cash distribution from our hotel managers, 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 98% 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 99% 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 statements 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 hotel operating expenses.
Key Performance Indicators
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 food and beverage or parking, telephone or other guest service revenues 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.
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. As a result, RevPAR increases due to higher room rates have a greater impact on our profitability versus increases in occupancy levels.
We discuss operating results for our 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 business interruption due to significant property damage, large scale capital improvements or significant events during these periods.
We also have presented Comparable Hotel plus the Starwood Portfolio RevPAR. This metric represents our comparable hotels (described above) plus the 23 hotels acquired from Starwood on April 10, 2006 that we own as of December 31, 2007. Accordingly, we have included the results of the Starwood Portfolio for periods prior to our ownership in 2006 in the determination of the Comparable Hotel plus Starwood Portfolio RevPAR. See Comparable Hotel and Comparable Hotel plus the Starwood Portfolio Operating Statistics for further detail.
We also evaluate the performance of our business through non-GAAP financial measures, including FFO per diluted share and comparable hotel adjusted operating profit. See Non-GAAP Financial Measures. We use FFO per diluted share as a supplemental measure of company-wide profitability. See Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresFFO per diluted share for further discussion. Another key profitability indicator we use is hotel adjusted operating profit, which is a non-GAAP measure 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. 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 share.
Summary of 2007 Operating Results
Comparable Hotel plus the Starwood Portfolio RevPAR increased 6.5% in 2007. The RevPAR increase was the result of an increase in average room rates of 5.9% and an increase in occupancy of 0.4 percentage points. For our comparable properties, RevPAR increased 5.8%. The growth in average room rate was driven by a number of positive factors, such as continued economic growth and low growth in the supply of new luxury and upper upscale hotels.
Total revenue increased $613 million, or 12.7%, to $5.4 billion for the year, primarily due to increases in RevPAR, as well as increases in food and beverage and other revenue items. Revenues for 2007 also reflects a full year of operations for the 23 hotels acquired from Starwood in April 2006 that we own as of December 31, 2007. Revenues include $1,066 million in 2007 compared to $762 million in 2006 from the Starwood Portfolio.
Net income from continuing operations increased $256 million in 2007 to $550 million. The increase was primarily the result of improved operating results at our hotels, increases in gains on insurance settlements, declines in corporate and other expenses (primarily due to decreases in stock compensation expense and a decrease in non-recurring costs as compared to 2006 which included costs associated with the Starwood acquisition) and a decline in interest expense. Net income decreased $11 million to $727 million in 2007. The decrease was due to a decline in gains on dispositions from $416 million in 2006 compared to $164 million in 2007. Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations increased $.45 to $1.01 in 2007, while diluted earnings per share decreased $.15 to $1.33 in 2007. FFO per diluted share increased $.38, to $1.91, for 2007. FFO per diluted share was reduced by $.08 for 2007 due to costs associated with debt repayments or refinancings. By comparison, FFO per diluted share was reduced by $.09 for 2006 for similar transactions, as well as costs associated with preferred stock redemptions and the Starwood acquisition.
Comparable hotel adjusted operating profit increased as a result of the increases in overall revenues at our hotels, described above, but was negatively affected by a 4.3% increase in comparable hotel operating expenses. The increase in expenses was driven by increases in wages and benefits at the hotels and by increased management fees.
Domestically, we did not complete any acquisitions during 2007 due to several factors. During the first half of 2007, increased demand for premium assets (particularly from private equity funds and other buyers as a result of the availability of favorable debt financing) and continued strong lodging fundamentals caused significant upward pressure on asset prices. However, as the credit markets weakened in the second half of the year, favorable debt financing was not available and few luxury and upper-upscale hotels were marketed to be sold. As a result, management continued to focus on acquisitions in Europe, where we believe there are opportunities for growth outside of the domestic lodging cycle. Consistent with this strategy, our European joint venture purchased three properties located in Brussels, Belgium in July 2007. As a result of the acquisition, the European joint venture now holds over 1 billion in lodging assets and reflects a geographically diversified portfolio with ten properties in five countries.
During 2007, we continued to enhance the competitiveness of our properties through one of the largest capital expenditure programs in our history. This program consists of ROI/repositioning and value enhancement projects as well as maintenance capital expenditures. These projects are focused on lobbies, public space, food and beverage facilities, spas, retail outlets, energy conservation, non-guest areas, meeting space and rooms. Over the past two years, we have spent $1.1 billion on capital expenditures, including $613 million in 2007. We spent approximately $346 million in 2007 on ROI/repositioning projects and value enhancement projects at 23 properties. These projects included the completion of the 105,000 square foot exhibit hall at the Orlando World Center Marriott, which opened in October 2007, and several significant projects at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, including the construction of new food and beverage facilities, renovation of all existing break-out space and the construction of a new 26,000 square foot ballroom, which is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2008. Additionally, at the J.W. Marriott, Desert Springs Resort, we recently renovated the lobby and opened a completely renovated spa, which expanded the size of the spa to 37,000 square feet. During 2007, our renewal and replacement capital expenditures totaled $267 million and included the renovation of over 6,500 rooms and over 625,000 square feet of meeting space.
During 2007, we took advantage of market conditions to dispose of nine properties where we believed the potential for long-term revenue growth was lower. Proceeds from these sales were approximately $400 million and were used to repay debt, invest in our portfolio, or for general corporate purposes. We recorded a gain on these sales of $164 million, net of tax, in 2007. The interest from perspective buyers slowed during the second half of 2007 due to the decline in the availability of financing as the credit markets tightened.
Maintaining our strong interest coverage and leverage ratios remains a key management priority and, as a result of continued growth in cash flow at our properties and the repayment and refinancing of debt, we significantly improved our interest coverage and leverage ratios during 2007. During 2007, we issued approximately $1.0 billion of debt, including $600 million of 2 5/8% Exchangeable Senior Debentures and $434 million of mortgage debt. The proceeds, along with cash from hotel dispositions and available cash, were used to retire or prepay $1.3 billion of debt, which included $1.0 billion of mortgage debt, $250 million outstanding under our credit facility and $6 million of senior notes. Importantly, we only have $247 million of debt maturing plus $14 million of principal amortization in 2008.
We believe that the economic drivers that impact underlying lodging fundamentals, such as growth in GDP, business investment and employment, are likely to weaken in 2008. The expected decline in these drivers will likely result in a significantly lower revenue growth rate for our hotels than was experienced in 2006 and 2007. While demand growth could moderate as a result of slowing economic drivers, projections for new supply in the markets in which we own hotels suggest that supply growth will also continue to fall short of long-term historical averages. While the pace of new lodging supply in various phases of development has increased over the past several quarters, the majority of new projects scheduled for completion in the near-term are largely concentrated in the economy and mid-scale segments and are located outside of major urban markets. Therefore, we do not expect most of the new hotel supply to directly compete with our core portfolio. We also believe the timing of some of these projects may be affected by increased building costs and the reduced availability of financing. These factors may further dampen the pace of new supply development beyond 2008.
We believe the slower economic growth in 2008 will likely result in lower transient demand, primarily from the corporate and leisure segments. Our group booking pace for 2008 is stronger than 2007; however, the short term group bookings may not materialize to the same extent that they did in 2007. Overall, we expect group demand to be similar to the levels achieved in 2007. Based on this outlook, we believe the increases in RevPAR in 2008 will continue to be driven by increases in the average room rate rather than occupancy. However, improvements in operating results will be constrained by increasing operating costs as well as certain costs increasing at a rate greater than inflation, including wages, benefits and real estate taxes.
We expect our current level of capital expenditures and investment projects will continue through 2008. As a result of this program, certain properties will continue to experience temporary business interruption during 2008. Due to the size and number of projects we expect to complete early in 2008, the disruption may be particularly significant in the first half of the year and, as a result, our operating margins will be adversely affected. However, over the long term, we expect to see improvements in RevPAR and operating margins as these projects are expected to enhance our properties competitive market position and profitability.
As a result of these trends and our efforts to improve the portfolio, we expect that for the 116 hotels that we consider comparable in 2008, which includes the Starwood Portfolio, RevPAR will increase approximately 2% to 4% when compared to 2007.
We anticipate that despite the recent tightening of the domestic credit markets, which we expect to restrict other potential buyers, investment opportunities for asset acquisitions in domestic urban and resort locations will continue to be limited for us. Liquidity concerns should moderate the increases in valuations that have occurred in recent years and limit the number of buyers who utilize higher levels of leverage. Consequently, owners will not likely be willing to sell their hotels at lower price levels initially, which, in the near term, will reduce the number of domestic properties available that will meet our return on investment requirements. Additionally, we expect that the decline in prospective buyers due to the tightening of the credit market will continue to limit our dispositions in 2008. However, we believe that in international markets, particularly in Europe, Asia and Latin America, there are more opportunities wherein we can leverage our investment through the use of joint ventures to acquire quality properties. As a result of the current strength of our balance sheet, and the number of sources of liquidity available to us (see Liquidity and Capital Resources), we feel we are well positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise.
In 2007, we declared a total dividend of $1.00 per share. For 2008, we expect to declare a fixed $.20 per share common dividend each quarter as well as a special dividend in the fourth quarter, which, based on our current outlook, will be similar to the 2007 level. The amount of any dividend will be determined by Hosts Board of Directors.
As we believe the trends in the lodging industry provide less opportunity for improvements in our business in 2008, 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.
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):
Hotel Sales Overview
2007 Compared to 2006
Hotel sales growth for 2007 was due to increases in RevPAR, as well as increases in food and beverage and other revenue items. Hotel sales for 2007 also reflect a full year of operations for the Starwood Portfolio and include $1,066 million and $762 million in 2007 and 2006, respectively, from these properties. Sales for properties sold in both years have been reclassified as discontinued operations. See Discontinued Operations below.
Comparable Hotel plus the Starwood Portfolio RevPAR increased 6.5% in 2007 and comparable hotel RevPAR increased 5.8% (as of December 31, 2007, 93 of our 119 hotels have been classified as comparable hotels). The increase in RevPAR was the result of strong growth in average room rates and a slight increase in occupancy. The growth in average room rate was driven by increasing demand due to strong economic growth in the first half of 2007 and low growth in the supply of new luxury and upper upscale hotels. As a result of these trends, our operators were able to continue to increase room rates, while marginally improving the year-over-year occupancy levels. However, occupancy was affected at a number of our hotels by our capital expenditure program, which is described below, as well as weakness in individual markets.
Food and beverage revenues for our comparable hotels increased 3.7%, primarily due to increased sales from our catering and banquet business and meeting room rentals. In addition, operating margins at our food and beverage outlets increased 1.1 percentage points. Other revenues for our comparable hotels, which primarily represent spa, golf, parking, internet connectivity and other fees, increased 7.4%.
While management evaluates the performance of each individual hotel against its competitive set in a given market, overall we evaluate the portfolio operating results using three different criteria: property type (i.e. urban, suburban, resort/convention or airport), geographic region and mix of business (i.e. transient, group or contract).
Comparable Hotel Sales by Property Type
The following tables set forth performance information as of December 31, 2007 and 2006:
Comparable Hotels plus the Starwood Portfolio by Property Type(a)(b)
Comparable Hotels by Property Type(b)
For 2007, RevPAR increased across all of our hotel property types, led by our urban hotels, as we benefited from strong performance in several downtown markets such as Boston, New York, and San Francisco. We also experienced RevPAR growth at our suburban hotels due to strong performances at our suburban Boston, Denver and Los Angeles hotels. RevPAR growth at our airport hotels was led by our San Francisco and Houston airport hotels. RevPAR growth for our resort/convention hotels was moderate as several hotels were significantly affected by major renovations.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Geographic Region
The following tables set forth performance information as of December 31, 2007 and 2006:
Comparable Hotels plus the Starwood Portfolio by Region(a)(b)
Comparable Hotels by Region(b)
For 2007, our Mid-Atlantic region continued to be the top performing region due to exceptional RevPAR growth by our New York City hotels driven by strong business and leisure transient demand and average room rate increases. The New England region also performed well due to increased city-wide events in the Boston market, particularly during the second half of the year, as this market was affected by lower levels of group and transient demand during the first half of the year.
Increases in RevPAR for our Pacific, Washington D.C. and Mountain regions were generally consistent with the levels for the overall portfolio. Increases in RevPAR in our Pacific region were driven by the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets. The Los Angeles market grew due to increased average room rates for transient business along with a strong group base. The San Francisco market had a strong year driven by city-wide events. The growth in the Washington D.C. region was driven by the performance of our downtown hotels, which was partially offset by weak performance by our suburban properties in the region.
RevPAR growth during the year in the Florida region was moderate, as group activity was slow due to hurricane concerns and renovation displacement at several hotels including the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa and the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina. The weak RevPAR growth in the Atlanta region was due to lower levels of occupancy, as city-wide demand decreased from the unusually strong performance in 2006 that reflected business relocation from New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. However, in the fourth quarter, the Atlanta region experienced RevPAR increases due to strong group bookings in the mid-town area. The North Central region under-performed the portfolio primarily due to weakness in the Chicago market.
Hotel Sales by Business Mix. The majority of our customers fall into three broad groups: transient, group and contract business. Individual travelers are referred to as transient customers. Those traveling as part of an organized group, meeting or convention are referred to as group customers. Contract customers represent blocks of rooms sold to a specific company for an extended period of time at significantly discounted rates, such as airline crews. The information below is derived from business mix data for 109 of our hotels for which business mix data is available from our managers.
In 2007, relatively strong demand levels allowed our operators to increase average daily room rates, particularly in the corporate transient segments. Overall transient average daily rates increased 7% when compared to last year and our overall group average room rate for these hotels increased almost 5%. We expect
that the ability to achieve increases in average daily rates will moderate in 2008 in conjunction with expectations for weaker economic and demand growth.
2006 Compared to 2005
Hotel sales growth for 2006 was due to increases in RevPAR, as well as increases in food and beverage and other revenue items. Hotel sales include $863 million in 2006 from the Starwood Portfolio. Sales for properties sold in both years have been reclassified as discontinued operations. See Discontinued Operations below.
As of December 31, 2006, 95 of our 128 hotels were classified as comparable hotels. Comparable hotel sales increased 7.6% to approximately $3.8 billion for 2006. The revenue growth reflects the increase in comparable RevPAR of 8.5%, as a result of an increase in average room rates of 9.2% and a slight decrease in occupancy of 0.4 percentage points. The growth in average room rate was driven by 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, our operators were able to significantly increase average daily room rates and continued to manage the mix of business away from lower rated discount and contract business in favor of higher rated corporate transient and corporate and association group business. However, this yield management at our hotels did result in fewer occupied rooms and was the primary factor for the slight occupancy decline. Occupancy was also affected by weakness in individual markets and temporary disruption to certain properties due to our capital expenditure program.
Food and beverage revenues for our comparable hotels increased 6.6%, primarily due to increased sales from our catering and banquet business. Growth in sales of our food and beverage operations, which historically represent approximately 30% of our revenues, also positively affected overall operating margins, as our managers continue to shift business from outlets to banquet sales. Food and beverage margins increased 2.1 percentage points in 2006.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Property Type
The following table sets forth performance information as of December 31, 2006 and 2005:
Comparable Hotels By Property Type(a)
For 2006, revenues increased across all of our comparable hotel property types, led by our urban hotels, as we benefited from strong performance in several of our downtown markets such as Chicago, New York and Boston. RevPAR growth at our resort/convention hotels was driven by the RevPAR increases at our Naples, Florida and Maui, Hawaii resort/convention hotels. The increase in RevPAR at our airport hotels was less than the comparable portfolio as the increase in average room rates of 10.5% was partially offset by decreases in
occupancy of 2.8 percentage points due, in part, to renovations at our San Francisco airport hotels. The comparable hotel RevPAR increase for our suburban hotels reflected an increase in average room rates of 8.4%.
Comparable Hotel Sales by Geographic Region
The following table sets forth performance information as of December 31, 2006 and 2005:
Comparable Hotels By Region(a)
For 2006, we experienced RevPAR increases in all regions. Our New England region was the top performing region due to very strong group demand at our downtown Boston hotels. The North Central region also performed well primarily due to an increase in the average room rate and the average occupancy. The improvement was the result of strong growth across all segments of demand, particularly group demand at our six hotels in the Chicago market, which benefited from a significant increase in the number of city-wide convention events in 2006. Additionally, increases in comparable hotel RevPAR in our Mountain region were due primarily to RevPAR increases at our three comparable hotels in the Denver market and our hotels in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
RevPAR growth in our Pacific and South Central regions were moderate. Our Pacific region benefited from strong RevPAR growth in the Hawaii and San Diego markets and our South Central region had RevPAR increases driven primarily by strong increases in average room rate. The DC region was our worst performing region. Comparable hotel RevPAR in the DC region was negatively affected by the renovations at the JW Marriott, Washington, D.C., which had a significant number of rooms out of service for the first and second quarters of 2006, as well as an overall decrease in congressional activity and a reduction in group business compared to 2005, which included the effect of the Presidential inauguration.
Hotel Sales by Business Mix. In 2006, overall demand was stronger and, therefore, our operators were able to significantly increase average daily room rates, particularly in the corporate transient segments. Overall transient average daily rates increased 10% when compared to last year and our overall group average room rate for these hotels increased almost 7%. The gap between transient rates and group rates widened in 2006, indicating that pricing power remained strong. The information above was derived from business mix data for 100 of our hotels for which business mix data is available from our managers.
2007 compared to 2006 and 2006 compared to 2005
Rental Income. Our rental income represents lease income from our 71 leased HPT Properties and three office property leases, as well as lease income from one upper upscale hotel. Rental income improved $1 million in 2007 from 2006 and $8 million in 2006 from 2005 primarily due to the increase in operations at the leased HPT Properties as a result of investments in the properties by the lessor and improvements in the overall economy.
Property-level Operating Expenses
Operating expenses increased each year from 2005 to 2007 due to several factors, particularly, inflation and increases in revenue driven costs at our properties. 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 include a fixed component but will increase based on occupancy and with inflation, while depreciation expense is fixed except for increases as a result of acquisitions and capital expenditures. Similarly, management fees are directly effected by total revenues as well as the level of operating profit at each property. Additionally, 2007 property-level operating expenses include the property-level expenses of the Starwood Portfolio for a full year or approximately $852 million in 2007. Comparatively, property-level operating expenses for 2006 include Starwood Portfolio expenses for the period from April 10, 2006 (the purchase date) through year end 2006 of $599 million. Fiscal year 2005 has no property-level expenses for the Starwood Portfolio. Property-level operating expenses exclude the costs associated with hotels we have sold, which are included in discontinued operations.
Corporate and Other Expenses. Corporate and other expenses primarily consist of employee salaries and benefits including stock-based compensation expense, as well as other costs such as travel, corporate insurance, audit fees, building rent and system costs. In 2007, corporate expenses decreased approximately $25 million from 2006 due to the decrease in compensation expense recorded for our stock-based compensation awards primarily due to the decline of our stock price and a significant decrease in the number of shares vested and a decrease in non-recurring costs, such as those costs recorded from the acquisition of the Starwood Portfolio and other transactions. In 2006, corporate expenses increased approximately $27 million from 2005 due to an increase in compensation expense based on the strong performance of our stock price and an increase in overall staffing levels, as well as non-recurring costs of $7 million associated with the Starwood acquisition.
Gain on Insurance Settlement. We recorded a gain on insurance settlement of $51 million in 2007, $13 million in 2006 and $9 million in 2005. The gains relate to the insurance proceeds received for both business interruption and property damage following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma which occurred during September and October 2005. The hurricanes caused substantial business interruption and property damage at our New Orleans Marriott and at five of our hotels located in southern Florida. During 2007, we reached final settlement with our insurers on all of these claims.
During 2007, we recognized a gain of $30 million related to business interruption insurance proceeds received as a result of lost profit primarily at our New Orleans Marriott. Additionally, all of the insurance gains of $13 million in 2006 and $9 million in 2005 represent business interruption insurance proceeds.
The remaining gain of $21 million in 2007 related to insurance proceeds for property damages sustained by these properties. The gain represents the insurance proceeds received in excess of the insurance receivable recorded on the balance sheet at the date of loss. The insurance receivable reflected the book value of the property and equipment written off and repairs and maintenance costs incurred from the hurricanes. We recognize the gains on insurance settlements once all contingencies are met, and, as a result, none of the property insurance proceeds were recognized in income during 2005 or 2006.
Interest Income. Interest income increased $4 million in 2007 compared to 2006 and $11 million in 2006 compared to 2005 due to an increase in our cash balance and an increase in the interest rate earned.
Interest Expense. The decrease of $28 million in interest expense for 2007 is primarily due to a net decrease in debt of approximately $253 million and a decrease in our weighted average interest rate of 0.8 percentage points to 6.0%. The decrease is partially offset by call premiums and the acceleration of the amortization of deferred financing costs associated with debt prepayments totaling $45 million for 2007 compared to similar costs of $17 million for 2006.
The increase of $7 million in interest expense in 2006 from 2005 was primarily due to a net increase in debt of approximately $508 million and increased rates for our variable rate debt from 2005. The increase was partially offset by a decline from $30 million in 2005 to $17 million in 2006 for call premiums, accelerated deferred financing costs and original issue discounts and the early termination of our interest rate swap agreements associated with debt prepayments. In addition, interest expense for 2006 includes approximately $5 million of non-recurring bridge loan fees and expenses related to the Starwood acquisition.
Minority Interest Expense. Minority interest expense decreased $9 million in 2007 due to lower net income of Host LP and a decline in the weighted average ownership percentage of the outside owners of Host LP from 3.83% to 3.42%. Host LP income in 2006 included significant gains on dispositions, net of tax, of $416 million. In 2006, the increase of $25 million over 2005 was a result of 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. In 2007, our share of income of affiliates increased by $17 million over 2006 primarily due to an increase in earnings from our European joint venture, which was formed in 2006. However, in 2006, our share of losses of affiliates increased by $5 million compared to 2005 primarily due to the losses recorded from our investment in the European joint venture of $8 million, which included our portion of a foreign currency hedge loss of $7 million, as the venture hedged a portion of its initial investment for the acquisition of six of its hotels.
Net Gains on Property Transactions. In 2007 and 2006, the gains primarily represent the amortization of deferred gains resulting from the sale of the HPT Properties in 1995 and 1996. In 2005, gains also included 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 in 2005 is primarily 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.
Discontinued Operations. Discontinued operations consist of the results of operations and the gain or loss on disposition of nine hotels sold in 2007, seven hotels sold in 2006 and five hotels sold in 2005. For 2007, 2006 and 2005, revenues for these properties during our ownership period were $35 million, $167 million and $266 million, respectively, and operating income before taxes was $15 million (which includes $7 million of
gains on insurance settlements relating to our discontinued hotels), $28 million (which includes $3 million of business interruption insurance proceeds relating to our discontinued hotels) and $34 million, respectively. We recognized a gain, net of tax, of $164 million, $416 million and $19 million for 2007, 2006 and 2005, respectively, on the disposition of these hotels.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
We use cash for acquisitions, capital expenditures, debt payments, operating costs, corporate and other expenses and dividends to stockholders. As a REIT, we are required to distribute at least 90% of our taxable income (excluding net capital gain) to our stockholders in the form of dividends. Funds used to make these dividends are provided from Host LP. Our sources of cash are cash from operations, proceeds from the sale of assets, borrowing under our credit facility and our ability to obtain additional financing through various capital markets. We depend primarily on external sources of capital to finance future growth, including acquisitions.
Cash Balances. As of December 31, 2007, we had $488 million of cash and cash equivalents, which was an increase of $124 million from December 31, 2006. In January 2008, we paid the fourth quarter dividends of $212 million on our common and preferred stock. The increase in cash is primarily due to proceeds from asset sales and improved operations, partially offset by dividend payments and capital expenditures. Excluding amounts necessary for working capital, we intend to use the remaining available funds over time to further invest in our portfolio through capital expenditures and stock repurchases, acquire new properties, invest in foreign joint ventures or make further debt repayments. We also have $600 million available under our credit facility. We believe we have ample liquidity and access to capital markets to take advantage of investment opportunities which may arise, continue our capital expenditures program, deal with our near term maturities and other obligations and to withstand an unanticipated decline in the cash flow from our business.
Debt Transactions. We seek to maintain a capital structure and liquidity profile with an appropriate balance of debt and equity to provide financial flexibility given the inherent volatility in the lodging industry, the debt capacity to buy assets in a downturn in the lodging cycle and the ability to continue to pay common stock dividends in the event that operations decline. Our financial flexibility is partially dependent on our ability to maintain compliance with the financial covenants under our debt agreements. In particular, the covenants under our Credit Facility and our senior notes indenture include, among others, the allowable amounts of leverage, coverage and fixed charges. Our ability to incur new debt, pay dividends and make investments is dependent upon compliance with these covenants. The liquidity and debt capacity provided by our Credit Facility is a key component of our capital structure. See Financial Condition for further discussion of our restrictive covenants. Since 2003, we have improved our financial covenant ratios as part of this strategy and, in 2007, we completed a number of transactions that extended our weighted average maturity, reduced interest costs and further improved our debt covenant ratios. We issued approximately $1.0 billion of debt, which consisted of $600 million of 25/8% Exchangeable Senior Debentures, as well as $434 million of mortgage debt. The proceeds of these facilities, along with proceeds from asset dispositions and available cash, were used to retire or prepay $1.3 billion of debt, which included $250 million outstanding under our credit facility and $1.0 billion of mortgage debt. As a result of these transactions, our debt balance has decreased by approximately $300 million to $5.6 billion as of December 31, 2007 with an average maturity of 5.7 years and a weighted average interest rate of 6.0%, which represents a decrease of approximately 80 basis points from December 31, 2006.
In addition to the above financing activities, we paid approximately $35 million of principal amortization of mortgage debt in 2007. Approximately $247 million of mortgage debt matures in 2008, in addition to $14 million of principal amortization.
We may continue to redeem or refinance senior notes and mortgage debt from time to time, including to take advantage of favorable market conditions when available. 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 Funds From Operations, or 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 $45 million and $17 million for 2007 and 2006, respectively, for call premiums, the acceleration of deferred financing costs and original issue discounts and the termination of related interest rate swap agreements associated with debt prepayments of $4 million in 2006.
Equity Transactions. On February 19, 2008, Hosts Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $500 million of common stock. The common stock may be purchased in the open market or through private transactions, dependent upon market conditions. The plan does not obligate us to repurchase any specific number of shares and may be suspended at any time at our discretion. Host currently has approximately 523 million shares outstanding.
Acquisitions and Dispositions. In July 2007, the European joint venture acquired three properties in Brussels, Belgium for $129 million, including our investment of $12 million. For 2007, we sold nine domestic properties for total proceeds of approximately $400 million and a gain of approximately $164 million, net of tax. The proceeds from the sales were used to repay debt, invest in our portfolio or for general corporate purposes.
We may acquire additional 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. Currently, we are in discussions with a potential partner to invest in properties in the Asia/Pacific region. We anticipate that our acquisitions will be financed through a combination of methods, including proceeds from sales of properties from our existing portfolio, the incurrence of debt, available cash, advances under our credit facility, proceeds from equity offerings of Host, or issuance of OP units by Host LP.
Capital Expenditures. During 2007, we continued our capital expenditure programs, which included the renovation of approximately 6,500 rooms and approximately 625,000 square feet of meeting space. In 2007, our renewal and replacement capital expenditures were approximately $267 million. Our renewal and replacement capital expenditures are generally funded by the furniture, fixtures and equipment funds established at certain of our hotels (typically funded with approximately 5% of property revenues) and by our available cash. We also spent approximately $346 million on repositioning/ROI and value enhancement projects in 2007. These projects are expected to enhance the competitiveness at our properties and should help drive operating performance.
Sources and Uses of Cash
Cash Provided by Operations. Our cash provided by operations for 2007 increased $120 million to $1.0 billion from $881 million in 2006, due primarily to the growth in RevPAR, improvements in operating margins and a full year of operations from the properties acquired from Starwood.
Cash Used in Investing Activities. Approximately $192 million of cash was used in investing activities during 2007. This included approximately $400 million of net proceeds from the sales of nine properties and excess land in 2007, which was offset by capital expenditures of $613 million.
The following table summarizes significant investing activities that have been completed since the beginning of fiscal year 2006 (in millions):
Cash Provided by/Used in Financing Activities. Cash used in financing activities was $685 million for 2007 and cash provided by financing activities was $154 million for 2006. During 2007 and 2006, cash provided by financing activities included the issuance of debt securities for approximately $1.0 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively, net of financing costs. Cash used in financing activities in 2007 and 2006 consisted of debt prepayments of approximately $1.3 billion and $913 million, respectively, and scheduled principal repayments of $35 million and $59 million, respectively.
During 2007, we increased our common stock dividend payments by $153 million to $444 million due to our strong growth in operations that resulted in an increase in taxable income. We also paid $9 million and $18 million for 2007 and 2006, respectively, of dividends on our preferred stock. Preferred stock dividends for 2006 include dividends related to our Class C Preferred Stock, which was redeemed in May 2006.
The table below summarizes significant debt (net of deferred financing costs) and equity transactions since January 2006 (not including the conversion of our Convertible Subordinated Debentures in 2006 into 24.0 million common shares or the approximately 133.5 million shares of Host common stock issued in the Starwood acquisition, as these are non-cash transactions) (in millions):
As of December 31, 2007, our total debt was $5.6 billion all of which carried a fixed rate of interest. Total debt was comprised of (in millions):
Aggregate debt maturities at December 31, 2007 are as follows (in millions):
General. The following summary is a description of the material provisions of the indentures governing our various senior notes issues by Host LP, which we refer to collectively as the senior notes indenture. 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. Under the terms of our senior notes indenture, our senior notes are equal in right of payment with all of Host LPs unsubordinated indebtedness and senior to all subordinated obligations of Host LP. 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. The pledges are permitted to be released in the event that our leverage ratio falls below 6.0x for two consecutive fiscal quarters. Because our leverage ratio is below this threshold, we have the right to release all pledges at any time. In October 2005, we exercised this right for pledges of capital stock that would have been otherwise required subsequent to this date.
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 Host LP. Host LP is able to make distributions to enable Host to pay dividends on its preferred stock under the senior notes indenture when our EBITDA-to-interest coverage ratio is above 1.7 to 1.0. 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 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 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 our ability to pay dividends on, redeem or repurchase our equity interests; make investments; permit payment or dividend restrictions on certain of our subsidiaries; sell assets; guarantee indebtedness; enter into transactions with affiliates; create certain liens; and sell certain assets or merge with or into other companies. As of December 31, 2007, we are in compliance with all of our financial covenants under our senior notes indentures.
$600 million Exchangeable Senior Debentures. On March 23, 2007, Host LP issued $600 million 25/8% Exchangeable Senior Debentures (the 2007 Debentures) and received proceeds of $589 million, net of underwriting fees and expenses and original issue discount. The 2007 Debentures mature on April 15, 2027 and are equal in right of payment with all of our other senior notes. Interest is payable quarterly in arrears on January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15 of each year beginning on July 15, 2007. Holders have the right to require us to repurchase the 2007 Debentures on April 15, 2012, April 15, 2017 and April 15, 2022 for cash equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued interest. Holders may exchange their 2007 Debentures prior to maturity under certain conditions, including when the closing sale price of Hosts common stock is more than 130% of the exchange price per share for at least 20 of 30 consecutive trading days during certain periods or any time up to two days prior to the date on which the debentures have been called for redemption. On exchange, we must deliver cash in an amount equal to not less than the lower of the exchange value (which is the applicable exchange rate multiplied by the average price of our common shares) and the aggregate principal amount of the 2007 Debentures to be exchanged, and, at our option, shares, cash or a combination thereof for any excess above the principal value. We can redeem for cash all, or part of, the 2007 Debentures at any time on or after April 20, 2012 upon 15 days notice at a redemption price of 100% of the principal amount plus accrued interest. If we elect to redeem the debentures and the exchange value exceeds the cash redemption price, we would expect holders to elect to exchange their debentures at the exchange value described above rather than receive the cash redemption price. The current exchange rate is 31.35 shares of our common stock per $1,000 principal amount of debentures, which is equivalent to an exchange price of $31.90 per share of Host common stock. The exchange rate may be adjusted under certain circumstances including the payment of common dividends exceeding $.20 per share in any given quarter.
$500 million Exchangeable Senior Debentures. On March 16, 2004, Host LP issued $500 million of 3.25% Exchangeable Senior Debentures (the 2004 Debentures) and received net proceeds of $484 million, after discounts, underwriting fees and expenses. The 2004 Debentures mature on April 15, 2024 and are equal in right of payment with all of our other senior notes. Interest is payable quarterly in arrears on January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15 of each year. Holders have the right to require us to repurchase the 2004 Debentures on April 15, 2010, April 15, 2014 and April 15, 2019 for cash equal to 100% of the principal amount. Holders may exchange their 2004 Debentures prior to maturity under certain conditions, including at any time at which the closing sale price of our common stock is more than 120% of the exchange price per share, for at least 20 of 30 consecutive trading days during certain periods or any time up to two days prior to the date on which the debentures have been called for redemption. The current exchange rate is 60.9201 shares for each
$1,000 of principal amount of the 2004 Debentures, (which is equivalent to an exchange price of $16.41 per share). The exchange rate is adjusted for certain circumstances, including the payment of all common dividends. We can redeem for cash all, or part of, the 2004 Debentures at any time subsequent to April 19, 2009 upon 30 days notice at the applicable redemption price as set forth in the indenture. If we elect to redeem the debentures and the exchange value exceeds the cash redemption price, we would expect holders to elect to exchange their debentures for stock rather than receive the cash redemption price.
General. On May 25, 2007, we entered into a second amended and restated bank credit facility (which we refer to as the Credit Facility) with Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch, as Administrative Agent, Bank of America, N.A., as Syndication Agent, Citicorp North America Inc., Société Générale and Calyon New York Branch, as Co-Documentation Agents and certain other agents and lenders. The Credit Facility provides aggregate revolving loan commitments in the amount of $600 million. During any period in which our leverage ratio equals or exceeds 7.0x, new borrowings are limited to such amount as does not cause the aggregate outstanding principal amount under the Credit Facility to exceed $300 million. The Credit Facility also includes subcommitments for (i) the issuance of letters of credit in an aggregate amount of $10 million and (ii) loans in certain foreign currencies in an aggregate amount of $300 million, (A) $150 million of which may be loaned to certain of our Canadian subsidiaries in Canadian Dollars and (B) $300 million of which may be loaned to us in Pounds Sterling and Euros. The Credit Facility has an initial scheduled maturity of September 2011. We have an option to extend the maturity for an additional year if certain conditions are met in September 2011. Subject to certain conditions, we also have the option to increase the amount of the facility by up to $400 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. Currently, there are no amounts outstanding under the Credit Facility.
The obligations under the Credit Facility are guaranteed by certain of our existing subsidiaries and is currently secured by pledges of equity interests in many of our subsidiaries. As with the prior facility, the pledges are permitted to be released in the event that certain conditions are satisfied, including the requirement that our leverage ratio falls below 6.0x for two consecutive fiscal quarters. As a result of having satisfied such conditions under the prior credit facility, currently we are not required to pledge our equity interests in any newly acquired or formed subsidiary, and at our elections, may obtain a release of all existing pledges for so long as our leverage ratio continues to be below 6.0x for two consecutive fiscal quarters. The guarantees and pledges ratably benefit our Credit Facility, as well as the notes outstanding under our senior notes indenture and interest rate swap agreements and other hedging agreements with lenders that are parties to the Credit Facility.
Financial Covenants. While the financial covenants under the Credit Facility are generally comparable to those contained in our prior facility (including covenants concerning leverage, fixed charge coverage and unsecured interest coverage), they are set at less restrictive levels than the corresponding covenants contained in our prior facility. Specifically, prior to the end of our third quarter of 2009, we are permitted to make borrowings and maintain amounts outstanding under the Credit Facility so long as our leverage ratio is not in excess of 7.5x and our unsecured coverage ratio is not less than 1.5x. Thereafter, the maximum leverage ratio under the Credit Facility is reduced to 7.25x, with the minimum unsecured coverage ratio continuing to be set at 1.5x. In all cases, if our leverage ratio equals or exceeds 7.0x, new borrowings are limited to such amount as does not cause the aggregate outstanding principal amount of the Credit Facility to exceed $300 million. The financial covenants for the Credit Facility do not apply when there are no borrowings under the Credit Facility. Hence, so long as there are no amounts outstanding, we would not be in default if we do not satisfy the financial covenants and we do not lose the potential to draw under the Credit Facility in the future if we were ever to come back into compliance with the financial covenants. As of December 31, 2007, our leverage ratio is 3.5x versus the 7.5x maximum leverage ratio allowed under the Credit Facility and our fixed charge coverage ratio is 3.0x versus the 1.0x minimum fixed charge coverage ratio allowed under the Credit Facility. Accordingly, we are in compliance with these and all of our other financial covenants under the Credit Facility as of December 31, 2007.
The following table summarizes the financial tests contained in the credit facility:
Interest and Fees. We pay interest on borrowings under the Credit Facility at floating interest rates plus a margin that is set with reference to our leverage ratio. In the case of LIBOR borrowings in U.S. Dollars, as well as Euros and Pounds Sterling denominated borrowings, the rate of interest ranges from 65 basis points to 150 basis points over LIBOR, which represents a reduction from the previous spread of 200 to 300 basis points over LIBOR due to the amended Credit Facility. Based on our current leverage ratio of 3.5x, we can borrow at a rate of LIBOR plus 65 basis points. To the extent that amounts under the Credit Facility remain unused, we pay a quarterly commitment fee on the unused portion of the loan commitment. The commitment fee has been reduced from a range of 35 to 55 basis points to a range of 10 to 15 basis points.
Other Covenants. The Credit Facility contains restrictive covenants on customary matters. Certain covenants 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 contained in the Credit Facility will be superseded by the generally less restrictive corresponding covenants in our senior notes indenture. Additionally, the Credit Facilitys restrictions on incurrence of debt and the payment of dividends are generally consistent with our senior notes indenture. These provisions, under certain circumstances, limit debt incurrence to debt incurred under the Credit Facility or in connection with a refinancing, and limit dividend payments to those necessary to maintain our tax status as a REIT.
Mortgage and Other Debt
General. As of December 31, 2007, we had 16 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, 2007, secured debt represented approximately 25% of our total debt and our aggregate secured debt had an average interest rate of 6.6% and an average maturity of 4.9 years.
The following table summarizes our outstanding debt and scheduled amortization and maturities related to mortgage and other debt as of December 31, 2007 (in millions):
Mortgage Debt of Consolidated and Unconsolidated Partner Interests
For the entities that we consolidate in our financial statements that have third party minority partnership interests, the proportion of mortgage debt included in the above table that is attributable to the minority owners, based on their percentage of ownership of the partnerships, is approximately $88 million. Additionally, we have minority interests in partnerships and joint ventures that are not consolidated and are accounted for under the equity method. The proportion of the mortgage and other debt of these partnerships attributable to us, based on our percentage of ownership of the partnerships, was $351 million at December 31, 2007. Approximately 90% of this debt balance is due to our 32.1% ownership interest in the European joint venture. The debt of our unconsolidated partnerships is non recourse to us.
Currently, we have approximately $4.125 billion of senior notes outstanding and $100 million of preferred stock that are rated by Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings. Moodys rating on our senior notes debt is Ba1 and our preferred stock is Ba2. Standard & Poors rating on our senior debt is BB and the rating on our preferred stock is B. Fitchs rating on our senior notes debt is BB+ and our preferred stock is BB. 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 additional preferred stock would likely increase.
Host is required to distribute at least 90% of its annual taxable income, excluding net capital gain, to its stockholders to qualify as a REIT, including taxable income recognized for federal income 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. As of February 25, 2008, Host is the owner of substantially all of the preferred OP units and approximately 97% of the common OP units. The remaining 3% of the common OP units are held by various third-party limited partners.
Investors should take into account the 3% minority position in Host LP common OP units when analyzing common and preferred dividend payments by Host to its stockholders, as these holders share, on a pro rata basis, in amounts being distributed by Host LP to holders of its corresponding common and preferred OP units. 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 $1 per share dividend on its common stock, it would be based on payment of a $1 per common unit distribution by Host LP to Host, as well as to other common OP unit holders.
Hosts current policy on common dividends is generally to distribute, over time, 100% of its estimated annual taxable income. Host intends to pay a regular quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share, and, in addition, to declare a special dividend during the fourth quarter of each year, the amount of which will vary depending on Hosts level of estimated taxable income. Host currently intends to continue paying dividends on its preferred stock, regardless of the amount of taxable income, unless contractually restricted. The amount of any dividends will be determined by Hosts Board of Directors.
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, 2007, we are party to the following material off-balance sheet arrangements:
Unconsolidated Investments. We have invested approximately 115 million ($150 million) in the European joint venture. Under the joint ventures partnership agreement, the aggregate size of the European joint venture can increase to approximately 533 million of equity (of which approximately 171 million would be contributed by Host LP) and, once all funds have been invested, would be approximately 1.5 billion of assets. The European joint venture currently has 688.5 million of debt outstanding, none of which is recourse to us.
As of December 31, 2007, the aggregate size of the European joint venture was approximately 1.1 billion ($1.5 billion), including total capital contributions of approximately 359 million ($464 million), of which a total of approximately 115 million ($150 million) was from the contribution by us of cash and the Sheraton Warsaw
Hotel & Towers. In connection with the European joint venture, the partners agreed that they would not individually make investments that are consistent with the European joint ventures investment parameters for a period of two years (three years in the case of Host) or until at least 90% of its committed capital is called or reserved for use prior to such date.
On February 5, 2008, we entered into a foreign currency forward purchase contract to hedge a portion of the foreign currency exposure resulting from the eventual repatriation of our net investment in the European joint venture. We hedged 30 million ($43 million) of our investment and the forward purchase will occur in August 2011. The derivative is considered a hedge of the foreign currency exposure of a net investment in a foreign operation, and, in accordance with SFAS 133, will be marked-to-market with changes in fair value recorded to accumulated other comprehensive income within the stockholders equity portion of our balance sheet.
We also have other unconsolidated investments with a total of $814 million in debt with various partners. For additional detail on these investments and the European joint venture, see Note 3, Investments in Affiliates, and Note 7, Leases, in the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Tax Sharing Arrangements. Under tax sharing agreements with former affiliated companies (such as Marriott International, HMS Host 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 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. 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 agreements, most of which will expire between 2008 and 2010. 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 federal 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, projected capital expenditures and other long-term liabilities, each as of December 31, 2007 (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