Why Marriott International Stock Surged 11% in November

What happened

Shares of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) gained 10.9% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Marriott has been a best-of-breed hotel operator, and the results for the third quarter, released in early November, validated investors’ confidence. Despite missing earnings estimates, Marriott showed much better growth than its peers in revenue per available room (RevPAR), and management issued a positive outlook, helping send the shares higher.

Image source: Marriott International.

So what

For the third quarter, RevPAR increased 1.5% worldwide, while North America RevPAR rose 1.3%. This was much better than Hilton Hotels (NYSE: HLT) and Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H), which reported RevPAR that was up 0.4% and flat, respectively.

Adjusted earnings per share were $1.47, slightly lower than the $1.49 that analysts expected. But it was a messy year-over-year comparison, given that year-ago earnings included $0.26 per share in asset sale gains. Investors were apparently more impressed with the company’s performance on the top line.

The main factors contributing to Marriott’s strong quarter were the Bonvoy loyalty program and the synergies from the 2016 Starwood acquisition. Membership for Marriott Bonvoy reached 137 million in the quarter. This is a key driver of revenue, since members tend to be repeat customers. It’s proving to be an important competitive advantage because loyalty members help generate revenue that might otherwise go to a competitor.

Marriott reported that the addition of Starwood has “enhanced guest satisfaction.” It has also unlocked tremendous value. Management has sold over $2.2 billion worth of assets since the acquisition, including the recent sale of the St. Regis New York for $310 million.

That cash is going back to shareholders. Management expects to return $3 billion by the end of the year through dividends and share repurchases.

Now what

The company expects the recent trend to continue into 2020. For the fourth quarter, it’s calling for growth in RevPAR (adjusted for currency rates) in a range of 0% to 1% in North America. Internationally, it’s expected to be up about 1%, bringing worldwide growth to 1% as well.

For 2020, management is calling for RevPAR to increase between 0% to 2% worldwide. Analysts expect Marriott to report adjusted earnings of $6.52 per share next year, up from $5.90 in 2019.

10 stocks we like better than Marriott International
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Marriott International wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 1, 2019

John Ballard has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Hyatt Hotels and Marriott International. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Over 50 Finance