Nice earnings news to report: Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality.

DALLAS-After some struggles throughout 2011 and early 2012, Ashford Hospitality Trust’s Q4 2012 earnings demonstrated some spark.  The hospitality REIT’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased by 14.3% for the full year of 2012, with RevPAR across the portfolio increasing 5.1% for the full year.

On the negative side, however, the REIT’s net loss attributable to common shareholders was $21.1 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, compared with net loss attributable to common shareholders of $18.3 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. Adjust funds from operations also were down to $0.39 per diluted share for the quarter as compared with $0.42 from the prior-year quarter; Interest Rate Derivative Income decreased by $8.2 million as the benefits from our Flooridor terminated in 2011, impacting AFFO per share by $0.10

Other financial highlights reported included:

  • Hotel operating profit for all hotels, including the Highland Hospitality portfolio, increased by $8.2 million, or 9.5%
  • Hotel operating profit margin increased 133 basis points for all Legacy hotels not under renovation in continuing operations
  • Hotel operating profit margin increased 337 basis points for all Highland Hospitality hotels not under renovation in continuing operations
  • A successful refinance of a $154 million non-recourse loan with a 12.72% interest rate to a $211 million interest-only mortgage loan for a floating interest rate of LIBOR + 6.15% with a 0.25% LIBOR Floor. 
  • The company and JV partner Prudential Real Estate Investors closed a $103 million loan secured by the Hilton Boston Back Bay Hotel in Boston.
  • The company also transferred ownership of the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson to the lender as part of a consensual foreclosure agreement previously disclosed.  Transferring this hotel to the lender has served to lower Ashford’s overall debt level by $19.7 million while increasing both EBITDA and AFFO.
  • And subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter, the Company refinanced its sole remaining 2013 debt maturity, which was set to mature in August.  The prior $142 million loan was refinanced with a new $200 million loan that matures in February of 2018.  The new loan provides for a floating interest rate of LIBOR + 3.50%, with no LIBOR Floor.