Orient-Express Hotels Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of hotel company Orient-Express Hotels (NYS: OEH) were getting a big boost from investors today, gaining as much as 14% in intraday trading after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: Growth was in the cards for the fourth quarter, as total revenue climbed 10% from a year ago -- to $136 million -- as revenue per available room increased 11%. The company still reported a loss for the quarter, but that loss slimmed from $0.16 per share a year ago to $0.09. That result was also better than analysts' estimates, which called for a $0.12-per-share loss. On the basis of adjusted EBITDA -- a cash-flow-like measure -- the final quarter of the year registered 31% YOY growth.

Now what: In 2011 and early this year, the company noted its efforts to strengthen its balance sheet, including the recent sale of a Virginia hotel for $22 million. Now it sounds like continued growth is on the agenda for 2012. While the state of the global economy will definitely play a role in Orient-Express' fortunes, management sounded stoked about what it's seen so far this year. Their press release noted:

[W]e are encouraged by our booking patterns, which indicate continued healthy demand in the luxury travel sector. Total revenue from owned hotels achieved and on the books for 2012 is currently about 8% above the comparable total at the same time last year.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferdoes not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter@KoppTheFoolorFacebook.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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