BETHESDA, MD—Host Hotels & Resorts outdidanalyst expectations for its first quarter performance by postingstrong net earnings and Funds From Operations. Driving the growthwas its group business division.

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For the first quarter, adjusted FFO reached$257 million, from $214 million a yearearlier.

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Net earnings for the first quarter reached$179 million from $56 million a year earlier.Adjusted EBITDA reached $308 million from $283 million a yearago.

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Analyst firms MLV & Co. and RBCCapital Markets zeroed in on Host's strong performance ingroup bookings. MLV said the strength in group, "which saw roomrevenues up 11% and consequently portfolio-wide catering revenuesup 13.5%" led to the REIT's strong revenue and margin performancefor the quarter.

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Indeed, it went on to note that if the group recovery holdsduring the next few months, "operating expectations will need to bebrought in."

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For its part RBC said that the REIT's strong group business"allowed the company to target higher rated customers in highoccupancy markets."

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Also of note was the geographic makeup of its portfolio'sperformance. RBC observed that the company's East Coast hotels weresoft but key markets of DC and New York outperformed the broadermarket.

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In total, New York increased RevPAR 4.2% and D.C. declined"modestly" according to RBC, by 0.2%.

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The true RevPAR growth, however, occurred on the West Coasthotels with San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Los Angelesposting RevPAR growth of 25.3%, 18.5%, 15.9% and 8.5%respectively.

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Another item of interest from the REIT's earnings statement-itis planning to step up its capital expenditures for acquisitions inthe remaining quarters of the year.

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The REIT didn't make any acquisitions in the past quarterspending about $3 million on such projects, including thecompletion of the first phase of the renovation of over 100,000square feet of meeting space and expansion of the fitness center atthe Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

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For the rest of the year, though, it expects that acquisitioncapital expenditures will total $30 million to $35 million.

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