Marriott’s stock drops as fourth-quarter revenue falls short



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Marriott International Inc.’s stock fell by 4.9% on Tuesday after the hotel operator’s fourth-quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates, although its profit in the latest quarter rose.

The stock drop ranks as the largest percentage decrease for Marriott since Sept. 22, 2022, when it fell 5.4%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The stock is now down about 5.3% from its all-time closing high of $249.58 a share on Feb. 8.

Marriott
MAR,
-5.73%
said its fourth-quarter net income increased by 27% to $848 million, or $2.87 a share, from $673 million, or $2.12 a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Marriott’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit of $3.57 a share beat the FactSet consensus estimate of $2.12 a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue increased to $6.1 billion from $5.9 billion but missed the consensus analyst estimate of $6.2 billion.

Marriott said its hotel leisure revenue has recovered to exceed levels in 2019, the year before travel was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While already significantly above 2019 levels, hotel leisure revenue rose again, up 2%,” the company said. “Business transient revenue at our hotels grew 3% from the year-ago quarter, with demand from large corporate customers continuing to make gains.”

Looking ahead, Marriott expects adjusted first-quarter profit of $2.12 a share to $2.19 a share, below the FactSet consensus estimate of $2.30 a share.

For 2024, Marriott is projecting adjusted earnings of $9.18 to $9.52 a share, below the analyst estimate of $9.68 a share.

Bernstein analyst Richard J. Clarke reiterated a market-perform rating for Marriott and said the company’s profit outlook was impacted by not incorporating buybacks into the figures.

“Guidance is solid and likely beatable through the year,” Clarke said in a research note. “As with Hilton we expect a year of consistent beats and raises from this level.”

Marriott said it expects to return $4.1 billion to $4.3 billion to shareholders in 2024 after factoring in its $500 million acquisition of the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

Also read: Marriott and Hilton added thousands of hotel rooms in 2023 amid travel rebound



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