By Dow Jones Business News, October 30, 2013, 05:17:00 PM EDT
By Michael Calia
Marriott International Inc.'s ( MAR ) third-quarter profit rose 12% as the company posted growth in revenue per
available room and higher worldwide occupancy rates.
The hotel industry bellwether estimated earnings of 47 cents to 50 cents a share in the fourth quarter, below
analysts' expectations of 55 cents, saying its expectations reflect the impact of the U.S. government shutdown. The
company also forecast revenue per available room, or revPAR--a key metric in the hotel industry--to increase 3.5% to
4.5% on a constant dollar basis.
For the year, the company tightened its estimate for per-share earnings, to $1.98 to $2.01 from its July call of $1.92
to $2.03 a share.
Marriott, which operates its namesake hotels as well as several brands such as the Courtyard and Renaissance, among
others, has recently benefited from growing demand from U.S. corporate travelers. The company, however, has become
increasingly dependent on international markets because new-hotel construction has stalled in the U.S.
Marriott in August said it had agreed to sell three new hotels--located in Miami Beach, London and Manhattan--for $800
For the latest period, Marriott posted earnings of $160 million, or 52 cents a share, up from $143 million, or 44
cents a share, a year earlier. The company in July forecast per-share earnings between 42 cents and 46 cents.
Revenue rose 16% to $3.16 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $3.05 billion.
World-wide revenue per room rose 4.8% on growth in short-term group business in North America and world-wide occupancy
rates hitting 75%, the highest in six years, the company said. The company had projected growth of 4% to 6%. World-wide
average daily rates were up 3.4%.
In North America, comparable company-operated revPAR increased 5.5%, including a 4.4% rise in average daily rates.
Shares of Marriott were up 40 cents at $44.60 after hours. Through the close, the stock is up 19% so far this year.
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