LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO), Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB), and Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE:CHSP) are three real estate investment trusts investing primarily in upscale lodging properties in the U.S. These three companies offer attractive valuations and fundamentals on a number of measures and are also growing through acquisitions.
Valuation and fundamentals
As evident in the table below, LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) is the largest property owner of the group with 40 hotels, primarily in urban locations in California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB) owns 19 hotels, primarily in California and major cities on the West and East coasts (excluding six hotels owned in the Manhattan Collection joint venture), while Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE:CHSP) owns 20 hotels, primarily in California, Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans.
11.8% of LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO)’s rooms are located in New York City. For comparison, Pebblebrook owns 865 rooms in New York City (which is the company’s share in the joint venture), or 14.9% of its total rooms, and Chesapeake’s percentage of rooms located in New York City is about 5.1% (two hotels).
It is interesting to note that Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB)’s Manhattan joint venture generated income before taxes of $3.1 million for the company in the first six months of 2013, or 18.8% of the total. A hotel room in Manhattan is worth more than anywhere else. In fact, recent research by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) indicates the New York City hotel market is the strongest market in the U.S. with a RevPAR (revenue per available room) 35% higher than the next highest market.
Despite having the largest exposure to the New York City market, LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) has the lowest price-to-FFO (funds from operations) ratio of 12.9. This might be due to having the lowest occupancy rate (which is also declining slightly) and to a $70 million renovation currently underway at the 934-room Park Central Hotel. Large renovations, as well as acquisitions, improve growth in the long-term, but they also take necessary capital and bring more risk.
On a RevPAR basis, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB) is the leader, and it also has the highest occupancy rate at 82.7%. Given this performance, the company deserves its higher price-to-FFO ratio relative to its peers.
|Number of hotel rooms||10,600||5,800||6,000|
|Occupancy rate (ytd) / change from 2012||77.5% / (0.5)%||82.7% / 3.2%||78.9% /1.9%|
|Trailing FFO per share||$2.13||$1.20||$1.47|
|Comparable RevPAR (ytd) / change from 2012||$159.3 / 1.9%||$178 / 7.2%||$148.5 / 5.7%|
Source: SEC filings, Reuters, author’s calculations;
Year-to-date, LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) has acquired three hotels, of which two (Harbor Court and Hotel Triton) are in San Francisco and combined have 271 rooms and cost $47.8 million, for an average price per room of $176,384. The third hotel is in Boston (Liberty Hotel) and has 298 rooms with a price tag of $170 million or over $0.5 million per room. The Boston deal may prove to be a bad business decision as the Liberty Hotel is ranked 29th out of 77 hotels in Boston according to tripadvisor.com, and the price per room that LaSalle paid seems excessive. Also, LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) issued redeemable preferred shares ($100 million at 6.375%) and redeemed the same amount of its Series G 7.25% preferred shares.