LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 10, 2018 • 08:00 am ET
Thank you. (Operator Instructions) And we'll take our first question from Anthony Powell with Barclays.
Hi, good morning, everyone. Thanks for taking the questions. One, just one -- Good morning. Just starting out with obviously that the results are better than you expected and your tone is significantly kind of more optimistic than what I've even a couple months ago. What really surprised you in terms of the results and the overall industry in the past few months and why do you think maybe your earlier conservatism was a bit -- conservative, given what we've seen so far?
Michael D. Barnello
Good morning, Anthony. Really a number of things. So we had our call in mid-February. We certainly didn't have our roll-up for what we're seeing from a corporate and international perspective, and both of those were positive -- surprisingly positive. And then what we did have the time was we had seen the urban market results for January, and we saw most of February at the time. And if you recall, January and February urban results are flat. And what you saw kick up that we clearly couldn't have seen at the time was March urban results were up 2.4%, April was up 4.6%, both of those kind of swallowing the Easter holiday. So those are great results despite the holiday. And May so far has been in the 4% range, again, for a limited period of time. So when you look at that, you've seen urban markets, clearly, turn on the gas, really, from March 1st on. At the same time, the things I mentioned in the prepared remarks, our corporate was strong, international was strong, and our markets picked up, really, in the second half of the quarter. And so really, the only thing that was -- the anomaly we mentioned was the integration of the properties has just lasted a little longer and has been deeper than we thought. But those are the biggest reasons, and those things are continuing right now into Q2. So to the extent that they continue in Q2 and beyond, results should continue to improve.
Thanks. And then you mentioned you'd like to buy back some shares or you bought back shares in the quarter. Can you purchase shares right now? And if you can't, what would you need to do in order to start buybacks? And are you interested in buying back stock at $30.75?
Michael D. Barnello
So we don't comment before we do a buyback on the pricing of the buyback. But I would tell you that we've been in a blackout period from the dates of the Pebblebrook proposal. But we are normally in a blackout period anyway because of earnings. So even if there was no Pebblebrook proposal, we wouldn't be able to trade for three days after today, the earliest. So that's the normal blackout for us. And then the fact that there's an outstanding offer for us, we would be in a blackout period until all those situations resolve. So for