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Marriott Q4 Profit Beats View; Will Spin-Off Timeshare Unit (MAR)

Hotel and resort operator Marriott International, Inc. ( MAR ) late Monday posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and said it would spin-off its struggling timeshare business into a separate publicly-traded company.

The Bethesda, MD-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $173 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with $106 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profit was 39 cents per share.

Revenue rose 6% from last year to $3.6 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 36 cents per share, on slightly lower revenue of $3.58 billion.

Looking ahead, the company forecast full-year 2011 earnings to range from $1.35 to $1.45 per share, while analysts expect $1.41 per share.

In another big announcement, Marriott said it would spin-off its struggling timeshare unit into a separate publicly-traded company, allowing it to concentrate solely on lodging.

Marriott shares rose $1.79, or +4.4%, in premarket trading Tuesday.

The Bottom Line

Shares of Marriott International ( MAR ) have a .85% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $41.00. The stock has technical support in the $36-$38 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $45 price level.

Marriott International, Inc. ( MAR ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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