Orange County Business Journal

Sunstone Names CEO, Beats Street on Q2 Earnings

Kari Hamanaka Monday, August 8, 2011

Aliso Viejo-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. appointed a new chief executive on Monday.

Ken Cruse, who has been serving as the company’s president since December, will add chief executive to his title.

Cruse has been running the company with Sunstone Executive Chairman Bob Alter.

Cruse’s appointment ends an executive reshuffling during a transition period for the company set off by the departure of former Chief Executive Art Buser in December.

The company owns 33 hotels nationally, including the Fairmont Newport Beach and the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.

Sunstone announced Cruse’s appointment after reporting better than expected results for its second quarter.

The company said second-quarter funds from operations, a profitability measure for hotel and other real estate owners, was $35.2 million, up 67% from a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts on average had expected $30.5 million.

Revenue was up nearly 40% from a year earlier during the quarter to $218.3 million.

Analysts on average expected revenue of $216 million.

Revenue per available room, a hotel industry measure of sales from available guest rooms, was up 7.2% from a year earlier to $131.89.

Sunstone did not provide guidance for the current quarter but did provide an outlook for the full year.

The company said it expects funds from operations to be $90.3 million to $102.1 million for the year.

Meanwhile, revenue per available room is expected to rise 6% to 8% this year, Sunstone said.

For the current quarter analysts on average expects funds from operations of $27 million and revenue of $211.8 million.

The company’s shares were down 10% in New York midday trading on investor concerns about the global economy.