Hilton Revises Outlook on War Worries

From Reuters

Hilton Hotels Corp. cut in half its profit forecast for the first quarter Thursday, joining other lodging companies that say the war with Iraq has hurt business.

Beverly Hills-based Hilton said revenue per available room would drop 4% in the first quarter from a year ago. That was down from the flat range Hilton forecast Jan. 27. Earnings per share, before items, would be about 2 cents to 3 cents, compared with a Jan. 27 forecast of about 5 cents, a spokesman said.

Hilton, which owns its own brand as well as Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn, said earnings per share in the first quarter would be flat to 1 cent a share, including charges.

Shares rose 2% before the warning, to $11.79, on the New York Stock Exchange, but fell to $11.39 in after-hours trading.