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Starwood 4Q profit falls but adjusted earnings tops Wall Street view; 2014 guidance is short

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STAMFORD, Conn. - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s fourth-quarter net income fell 10 per cent, hurt by some charges.

Its adjusted quarterly earnings topped analysts' estimate, but its guidance for this year was below Wall Street's view.

The Stamford, Conn., company, whose brands include Sheraton and St. Regis, earned $128 million, or 67 cents a share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That's down from $142 million, or 72 cents a share, earned during the same time in 2012.

Removing the charges and other items, earnings were 73 cents per share, 3 cents more than analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue dipped 2 per cent, to $1.51 billion from $1.53 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $1.52 billion.

Revenue per available room for hotels open at least a year, a key industry metric, increased 5.3 per cent. The strongest growth came from the company's high-end Luxury Collection and St. Regis hotels. The laggards were its Sheraton and Le M�ridien brands.

Starwood has nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries. Like most hotel companies, it doesn't own the properties but markets them under management or franchise agreements. During the quarter, Starwood signed 58 such agreements, representing approximately 11,700 rooms, and opened 23 hotels and resorts with approximately 5,400 rooms.

In 2014, Starwood expects adjusted profit of $2.69 to $2.78 per share, below Wall Street's prediction of $2.99 per share.

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