It's changing the industry.
Bank of America analysts just checked out of the hotel industry.
In a note published on Thursday, BofAML analysts led by Shaun Kelley cited a raft of pressures on the lodging sector, such as "soft" corporate demand, a glut of brick-and-mortar hotels, and pressure brought to bear by the Internet, including the rise of home-sharing startup Airbnb Inc.
The team is downgrading Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corp., and Hersha Hospitality Trust from "buy" to "neutral" and cutting RLJ Lodging Trust from a "buy" to "underperform." The analysts estimate that the sector could see shares fall as much as 40 percent if valuations move back toward their historical average.
"We have been noting for some time that all demand indicators are at peak while hotel supply is rising, internet pricing is dragging on rates, and alternative accommodations—including Airbnb—are a threat," the BofAML analysts write. "Given this backdrop, it’s increasingly clear that the lodging cycle that began in March 2009 is over."
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