Marriott International (MAR) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $158.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Marriott is currently benefiting from Starwood acquisition, rising North-American business, sizeable international exposure and an attractive brand-position. Marriot’s shares have outpaced the industry in the past year. The company also saw upward revisions for 2018 earnings over the last 60 days. Notably, with the acquisition of Starwood, Marriott became the world's largest hotel company. In fact, this buyout is likely to result in a bigger brand with increased scale and a robust development pipeline in the long run. Yet, lingering political uncertainties in key international markets and currency headwinds might continue to limit revenue growth. Moreover, integration risks linked to Starwood purchase is an added concern. Even so, its investments in technology for hotel bookings are anticipated to improve guest experience.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Deutsche Bank reiterated a hold rating and set a $124.00 price objective on shares of Marriott International in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. SunTrust Banks lifted their price objective on Marriott International to $108.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Marriott International from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut Marriott International from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lifted their price target on Marriott International from $111.00 to $115.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $119.64.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) traded up $4.63 during trading on Friday, reaching $145.24. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,560,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,340,000. Marriott International has a 12 month low of $85.63 and a 12 month high of $149.21. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $52,950.00, a P/E ratio of 39.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 1.35.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $5.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.61 billion. Marriott International had a return on equity of 31.58% and a net margin of 6.30%. The business’s revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.85 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Marriott International will post 4.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Marriott International declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, November 9th that allows the company to repurchase 30,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be given a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Marriott International’s payout ratio is 35.87%.

In other news, EVP Stephanie Linnartz sold 8,333 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.82, for a total value of $1,023,459.06. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,263 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,471,261.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Eric Hippeau sold 4,863 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.98, for a total value of $612,640.74. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 34,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,314,185.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 82,775 shares of company stock worth $10,794,225. 11.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. AHL Partners LLP grew its stake in Marriott International by 230.4% during the 2nd quarter. AHL Partners LLP now owns 19,615 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,967,000 after buying an additional 13,679 shares during the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC bought a new position in Marriott International during the 2nd quarter worth $772,000. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in Marriott International by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 823,377 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,786,000 after buying an additional 6,837 shares during the last quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. grew its stake in Marriott International by 2,222.2% during the 4th quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 41,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,674,000 after buying an additional 40,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its stake in Marriott International by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 467,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,553,000 after buying an additional 3,140 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.62% of the company’s stock.

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Marriott International Company Profile

Marriott International, Inc (Marriott International) is a lodging company. Marriott International operates in three business segments: North American Full-Service, North American Limited-Service and International. Its North American Full-Service segment includes its Luxury and Premium brands (JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance Hotels, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection Hotels, Delta Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, and Tribute Portfolio) located in the United States and Canada.

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