LEGACY HOTELS REAL ESTATE TRUST $9.39 (Toronto symbol LGY.UN; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; SI Rating: Extra risk) owns 23 luxury hotels in Canada, including the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal. It also owns two U.S. hotels.
In the third quarter of 2006, Legacy earned $19.8 million, up 15.1% from $17.2 million a year earlier. However, per-unit profits rose just 5.3%, to $0.20 from $0.19. That’s because the conversion of a Legacy debenture increased the number of units outstanding by 11%. Revenue crept up to $223.0 million from $221.6 million, as higher room rates offset a drop in occupancy.
Legacy’s Canadian hotels get about a third of their revenue from U.S. tourists. Proposed new rules that would force U.S. travelers to carry a passport could hurt its revenue. However, a drop in the Canadian dollar would offset the passport requirement. Meanwhile, the trust should generate enough cash to maintain its $0.32 distribution, which yields 3.4%. Legacy may also profit by converting some hotels to condominiums.
Legacy is a buy.