Financial Information

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


Cash Requirements and Our Credit Facility

In the 2019 second quarter, we amended and restated our multicurrency revolving credit agreement (the “Credit Facility”) to extend the maturity date of the Credit Facility and increase the aggregate amount of available borrowings to up to $4.5 billion. The available borrowings support our commercial paper program and general corporate needs. Borrowings under the Credit Facility generally bear interest at LIBOR plus a spread, based on our public debt rating. We also pay quarterly fees on the Credit Facility at a rate based on our public debt rating. While any outstanding commercial paper borrowings and/or borrowings under our Credit Facility generally have short-term maturities, we classify the outstanding borrowings as long-term based on our ability and intent to refinance the outstanding borrowings on a long-term basis. The Credit Facility expires on June 28, 2024.

The Credit Facility contains certain covenants, including a single financial covenant that limits our maximum leverage (consisting of the ratio of Adjusted Total Debt to EBITDA, each as defined in the Credit Facility) to not more than 4 to 1. The Credit Facility defines EBITDA as net income less cost reimbursement revenue, plus reimbursed expenses, plus the sum of interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, non-recurring non-cash charges, and extraordinary, non-recurring or unusual cash charges, expenses or losses up to a certain amount.

Our outstanding public debt does not contain a corresponding financial covenant or a requirement that we maintain certain financial ratios. We currently satisfy the covenants in our Credit Facility and public debt instruments, including the leverage covenant under the Credit Facility, and do not expect the covenants will restrict our ability to meet our anticipated borrowing and guarantee levels or increase those levels should we decide to do so in the future.

We believe the Credit Facility and our access to capital markets, together with cash we expect to generate from operations, remain adequate to meet our short-term and long-term liquidity requirements, finance our long-term growth plans, meet debt service, and fulfill other cash requirements.

We issue commercial paper in the U.S. We do not have purchase commitments from buyers for our commercial paper; therefore, our ability to issue commercial paper is subject to market demand. We reserve unused capacity under our Credit Facility to repay outstanding commercial paper borrowings if the commercial paper market is not available to us for any reason when outstanding borrowings mature. We do not expect that fluctuations in the demand for commercial paper will affect our liquidity, given our borrowing capacity under the Credit Facility.

At year-end 2019, our available borrowing capacity amounted to $1,522 million and reflected borrowing capacity of $1,297 million under our Credit Facility and our cash balance of $225 million. We calculated that borrowing capacity by taking $4.5 billion of effective aggregate bank commitments under our Credit Facility and subtracting $3,203 million of outstanding commercial paper (there being no outstanding letters of credit under our Credit Facility).

We monitor the status of the capital markets and regularly evaluate the effect that changes in capital market conditions may have on our ability to execute our announced growth plans and fund our liquidity needs. We expect to continue meeting part of our financing and liquidity needs primarily through commercial paper borrowings, issuances of Senior Notes, and access to long-term committed credit facilities. If conditions in the lodging industry deteriorate, or if disruptions in the capital markets take place as they did in the immediate aftermath of both the 2008 worldwide financial crisis and the events of September 11, 2001, we may be unable to place some or all of our commercial paper on a temporary or extended basis and may have to rely more on borrowings under the Credit Facility, which we believe will be adequate to fund our liquidity needs, including repayment of debt obligations, but which may carry a higher cost than commercial paper. Since we continue to have ample flexibility under the Credit Facility’s covenants, we expect that undrawn bank commitments under the Credit Facility will remain available to us even if business conditions were to deteriorate markedly.

Cash from Operations

Cash from operations for the last three fiscal years are as follows:

Financial Table

The $672 million decrease in cash from operations was primarily due to lower operating income, largely due to timing differences between the costs incurred for centralized programs and services, including our Loyalty Program, and the related reimbursements we received from hotel owners and franchisees in 2019, as well as changes in working capital.

Our ratio of current assets to current liabilities was 0.5 to 1.0 at year-end 2019 and 0.4 to 1.0 at year-end 2018. We have significant borrowing capacity under our Credit Facility should we need additional working capital.