Starwood, others start warning on swine flu…

May 4, 2009

Just when you thought things were starting to look a little bit brighter in terms of the swine flu, several companies have to go off and ruin the mirage.

Among them is Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT), which this morning filed its 10-Q noting that the swine flu could have a material and adverse impact on Starwood’s business. Here’s a snip:

Our business could be materially and adversely affected by the effect of a pandemic disease on the travel industry. For example, the past outbreaks of SARS and avian flu had a severe impact on the travel industry, and the current outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the United States threatens to have a similar impact. A prolonged recurrence of SARS, avian flu, swine flu or another pandemic disease also may result in health or other government authorities imposing restrictions on travel. Any of these events could result in a significant drop in demand for our hotel and vacation ownership businesses and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Starwood isn’t the only one warning about swine flu, which has dominated headlines for the past 10 days. American Express (AXP) also warned about this when it filed its Q on Friday. And Expedia (EXPE) also warned when it filed its Q on Thursday. But Starwood is the first company we’ve been able to find that warns about the potential for this having a material adverse impact on business.

Image source: Vegan Soapbox

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