Why Hilton is now working with Paris Hilton

Hilton’s new TV marketing campaign featuring none other than Paris Hilton, the granddaughter of Hilton founder Conrad Hilton, made perfect sense, one of the company’s top execs said.

“We have had a relationship with her and her family,” Hilton CFO Kevin Jacobs said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “They have had a big part of our history. Obviously, she shares a name with us and a history, and it has actually been a lot of fun. I think our marketing teams have had a lot of fun working with her. We have had a good response to her ads she has done, and hopefully, that will continue.”

According to Jacobs, the reality star-turned-businesswoman got people talking about the brand.

“She is an amazing marketer and moves the needle,” he said. “Our social engagement and the things we have done with her and her husband Carter across their honeymoon was some of the best social engagement we have seen.”

Even without Paris Hilton, the hotelier had a strong second quarter. The company saw revenue per available room rise 54.3% while overall occupancy levels improved 12.3 percentage points to 70.8%.

Here’s how Hilton performed compared to Wall Street estimates for the second quarter:

  • Net Sales: $2.24 billion vs. $2.12 billion

  • Adjusted EBITDA: $689 million vs. $606.3 million

  • Diluted EPS: $1.29 vs. $1.05

The company lifted its full-year adjusted earnings per share outlook to $4.21 to $4.46 from its guidance of $3.77 to $4.02 offered in May.

Hilton shares surged more than 7% as of 3:10 p.m. Wednesday on the news.

Jacobs said the performance reflects pent-up demand for travel and added that the outlook for bookings remains solid.

“We see a differentiated trajectory for travel, which is recovering from depressionary comparisons in 2020 and 2021,” Evercore ISI analyst Duane Pfennigwerth wrote in a note to clients moments after Hilton’s earnings. “Spending shift and travel patterns are normalizing vs. pre-pandemic.”

The analyst reiterated an outperform rating on Hilton’s stock.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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