Somehow these two unrelated economic news stories caught my eye today and I thought needed to be mentioned: Hilton’s IPO and Houston’s #1 Export Ranking.
First let’s look at Hilton’s IPO. Blackstone Group, LP, the owner of Hilton Worldwide Inc, took Hilton “private” in 2007 for $26.7 billion. This was one of the largest leveraged buyouts ever. Now Blackstone has Hilton set to go public for an initial offering of $1.25 billion. Paying off debt is what most think they will do with the cash. According to Reuters.com “Hilton’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization are expected to be 58 percent higher in 2013 than in 2009, according to a recent presentation to Blackstone shareholders.” RevPAR (revenue per available room) has been steadily growing for several years. This has helped the hotel lodging industry nationwide.
Hilton Worldwide consists of ten brands, 90 countries, 4,000 hotels, and 650,000 rooms. A bright point in Hilton Worldwide Inc is Hilton Grand Vacation Club (HGVC). HGVC has loyal and happy customers for the most part. They enjoy magnificent choices for luxury timeshare ownership resorts, top shelf service, and affordable vacation options. Overall timeshare sales have been surging over the last couple of years and Hilton Grand Vacation Club is enjoying a big chunk of the surge. Timeshare sales have been growing by leaps and bounds. Orlando, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and New York are just a sample of the locations Hilton timeshare owners can select from. Such diversity and quality sells well. Hilton Worldwide, Inc looks to be a solid choice and investors should do their “due diligence” before making a decision on it.
Now on to Houston. I suppose this story caught my attention because it is my home town. Being a native Houstonian has its ups and downs. But, when you see a headline that proclaims that Houston has surpassed New York City as the number one export city in the USA you can’t help but be proud. Quite a few have noticed the rapid growth of Houston’s export business. The first story I read today was on the International Trade Administration’s blog site. In that article they mention how Air China recently chose Houston as their only direct flight route from Beijing – and the first in 30 years. This flight route is expected to bring anywhere from $150 to $200 million annual benefits to Houston. Plus when you include tourism from China Houston stands to continue a fast pace of growth.
The combination of manufacturing and trade have helped propel Houston to the top when it comes to the export business. The complex and sophisticated infrastructure is well developed in Houston and it has also helped to push growth in exports.
I know these two stories are unrelated but they both grabbed headlines and my attention today!