April’s 1.6 percent increase in the Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index comes after two months of decreases.

LAST MONTH, THE Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index finished at 4,864, a 1.6 percent increase from March, according to STR. Still, the index was down 0.5 percent for the year through April after dropping 1.1 percent in March.

“Hotel stocks posted modest gains in April as first-quarter earnings have been better than expected and increased full-year outlooks reflect improving demand trends,” said Michael Bellisario, Baird’s vice president and senior hotel research analyst. “The hotel brands performed in line with the broader market, while the hotel REITs outperformed other real estate sectors as continued M&A speculation and renewed optimism about RevPAR growth re-accelerating boosted stock prices.”

The Baird/STR index finished April in better shape than the S&P 500, which saw only a 0.3 percent increase last month, and the MSCI US REIT Index, which rose 1.2 percent. Baird/STR’s hotel brand sub-index increased 0.7 percent to 7,400 from March to April. The Hotel REIT sub-index increased 3.8 percent to 1,636.

“We were encouraged by first-quarter performance results which pointed to strengthening consumer confidence and a healthy appetite for leisure travel,” STR president and CEO Amanda Hite said. “Midweek occupancy has remained healthy as well, pointing to robust business demand. Overall, we are confident that, despite the Easter calendar shift, the second quarter should show healthy performance growth that will continue to help investor sentiment in the sector.”