Companies with exposure to major urban markets and/or an upscale concentration are especially well positioned to raise rates as the business traveler segment comes into full swingU.S. lodging sector's upbeat outlook Dec 09, 2004
For the most part, the sector has balanced redeployment of capital between internal expansion projects, acquisitions, debt repayment, and stock repurchases. However, Fitch expects the capital structure priorities of management will likely be an overriding factor in rating decisions over the intermediate termU.S. lodging sector's upbeat outlook Dec 09, 2004
Since the latter half of 2003, both lenders and investors have demonstrated increasing interest in the industry due to improving operating margins and greater cash flow. Bank line renewals, previously affected by financial covenant restraints, are now more accessible. Loan spreads have tightened for those companies with good occupancy in strong markets. Lodging companies also have more choices in their access to capitalU.S. lodging sector's upbeat outlook Dec 09, 2004
Despite these cost pressure, margin trends typically have increased due to strong demand and better operating efficiency, more than offsetting the effects of raw material costs. In contrast to an inability to raise prices when the economy was weak, companies have been able to pass through a portion of higher raw material costs to their customers although price sensitivity remains in certain marketsIndustrial sector to continue rebound Dec 08, 2004
Strong demand has contributed to revenue growth and improving margins and appears likely to continue through 2005. The rate of revenue growth may taper off in 2005 as comparisons become more difficult, but there have been few indications that the current rebound in industrial production and services is at risk of fading any time soonIndustrial sector to continue rebound Dec 08, 2004
The Fitch Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of FIMALAC, headquartered in Paris. Fitch Ratings, Fitch Solutions and Algorithmics, are part of the Fitch Group.
Dual-headquartered in New York and London with 51 offices worldwide, Fitch Ratings positions itself as a global rating agency dedicated to providing value beyond the rating through independent and prospective credit opinions, research and data. Fitch Ratings was one of the three Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSRO) designated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975, together with Moody's and Standard & Poor's. It is one of the "Big Three credit rating agencies" (Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings).
The firm was founded by John Knowles Fitch on December 24, 1913 in New York City as the Fitch Publishing Company. It merged with London-based IBCA Limited in December 1997. In 2000 Fitch acquired both Chicago-based Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (April) and Thomson Financial BankWatch (December). Fitch Ratings is the smallest of the "big three" NRSROs, covering a more limited share of the market than S&P and Moody's, though it has grown with acquisitions and frequently positions itself as a "tie-breaker" when the other two agencies have ratings similar, but not equal, in scale.