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Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST), a REIT specializing in the lodging sector, is expected to report Q4 earnings before the market open on Wednesday, February 18 with a conference call scheduled for 10 am ET.

Guidance

Analysts are looking for EPS of 47c on revenue of $1.61B. The consensus range for EPS is 38c-51c, while the consensus range for revenue is $1.56B-$1.67B, according to First Call.

Analyst Views

Baird Tuesday upgraded Host Hotels to Outperform from Neutral, based on valuation and their belief that negative sentiment towards the stock has bottomed. Meanwhile, Wachovia raised the stock to Outperform from Neutral on February 9. In addition, Barron's recently quoted Cohen & Steers CEO Marty Cohen as predicting that the REIT sector will rebound by the end of 2009. Cohen mentioned Host Hotels positively, noting that the lodging industry is extremely sensitive to changes in the economy and has huge operating leverage. But there are several negative signs for Host Hotels' stock: Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR) recently reported weaker-than-expected results and provided lower-than-expected Q1 EPS guidance. Starwood Hotels (NYSE:HOT) reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS, but provided much lower-than-expected fiscal 2009 EPS guidance. In addition, Argus dropped Host Hotels to Hold from Buy late last month, as the firm expects the company's outlook for 2009 to be weak.

Source: Earnings Preview: Host Hotels & Resorts