Zacks Analyst Interview Highlights: Starwood Hotels, Royal Caribbean and Carnival releases the latest Analyst Interview. Todays interview is with senior analyst Sean P. Smith, who discusses Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT), Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival (NYSE: CCL).

A synopsis of todays Analyst Interview is presented below. The full article can be read at

What Buy recommendations in the travel & leisure sector do you have for us?

On the hotel side, we currently have a Buy rating on Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT). The shares have pulled back roughly 20% from the highs reached in August. Starwood had been considered by many on the Street to be a potential takeover candidate, and given the recent developments in the credit markets, much of that takeover premium has been removed from the share price. We think that the selling has been overdone, however, and consider the current price to be attractive.

As for the cruise lines, we have a Buy rating on shares of Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), primarily due to valuation. The shares continue to trade at a discount to Carnival (NYSE: CCL). While the impact of fuel prices and the potential for slowing consumer spending are concerns, we still believe that shares are undervalued near current levels.

Has anything changed in your outlook for fiscal 2007, or looking ahead to 2008?

We continue to believe that lodging industry fundamentals are holding up well. While we do not expect to see the continuation of rapid growth in operating results like we have over the last couple years, we anticipate that the group should post steady, moderate growth going forward. Given that scenario, we expect that the sector will hold up well relative to the rest of the market. It may very well become more of a stock-picking market in this sector, but we expect that some good investment opportunities will still be available.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros by going to

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

(a)The Zacks Performance Rank performance is the total return of equal weighted simulated portfolios consisting of those stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank net of fees. Results reflect the reinvestment of dividends and other earnings. Simulated results do not represent actual trading and may not reflect the impact that economic and market factors might have had on decision-making if an adviser were actually managing a client's money.

(b)The S&P 500 Index ("S&P 500") is a well-known, unmanaged index of the prices of 500 large-company common stocks selected by Standard & Poor's. The S&P 500 includes the reinvestment of all dividends, no transaction costs, and represents the gross returns before management fees.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Terry Ruffolo
Media Relations
312-630-9880, ext. 213

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.