Hyatt Hotels stock jumps after J.P. Morgan turns bullish, saying discount to Marriott, Hilton is too wide


Shares of Hyatt Hotels Corp. H, -5.72% bounced 2.5% in premarket trading Monday, after the hotel operator was upgraded at J.P. Morgan, citing improved valuation after the recent selloff. The stock dropped 5.7% on Friday, amid fears that the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus would lead to reduced leisure travel, and has tumbled 14.6% since closing at a 21-month high of $91.50 on Nov. 5. Analyst Joseph Greff raised his rating to overweight after being at neutral for at least nearly three years, while raising his stock price target to $101 from $90. Greff said Hyatt’s stock has underperformed its peers over the past year, but he thinks “this can turn around” as Hyatt migrates to “a less capital-intensive, more fee-generative and a more leisure-focused business” following the company’s recent acquisition of Apple Leisure Group. “We think the current environment is ripe for [Hyatt] to optimize the value of its owned hotels, particularly leisure focused ones, and we don’t see this changing in the near to medium term,” Greff wrote in a note to clients. “Lastly, we look at [Hyatt’s] relative valuation as attractive versus [Hilton] and [Marriott], and while we believe it should trade at some discount, we’d argue the discount is too wide.” Hyatt’s stock has gained 5.2% year to date through Friday, while shares of Marriott International Inc. MAR, -6.45% have rallied 22.4% and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT, -6.25% have advanced 11.8%. The S&P 500 SPX, -2.27% has climbed 22.3% this year.

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