The sheets are turned down, the robes are hanging in the closet, the mints are on the pillow, the earnings are up, and the company will likely soon go private. Four Seasons Hotels
Four Seasons' results for the quarter were solid -- excellent, even, when compared to the prior-year period. Earnings reached $16.9 million, or $0.44 per share, versus a loss of $37.8 million, or $1.03 per share, in the final quarter of 2005. Revenues for the quarter increased 19% year over year, from $58.5 million to $69.8 million.
One of the key metrics in the vernacular of hotel management is revenue per available room, or RevPAR. At Four Seasons, that figure increased by 13.9% for the quarter at the company's worldwide core hotels, and by 8.4% at the U.S. core hotels. As a result, gross operating margins -- that's gross operating profit as a percentage of gross operating revenue -- at the worldwide core hotels increased 310 basis points to 32.5%. Given my fondness for expanding margins, I found that figure impressive.
So Four Seasons, like Marriott
But now, from the perspective of public investors, Four Seasons appears poised to vanish. Late last year, a proposal was made by an affiliate of Microsoft
The proposal will be voted on by shareholders in April at a meeting in Toronto, where Four Seasons is headquartered. After that, we Fools may be able to stay at Four Seasons hotels, but the company's shares will likely be nothing but a memory.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments.