Marriott International Sees Unusually High Options Volume (MAR)

Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors acquired 15,671 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 881% compared to the typical volume of 1,597 put options.

In related news, insider Deborah Marriott Harrison sold 80,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.94, for a total transaction of $11,275,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 116,092 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,362,006.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Edward A. Ryan sold 5,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.22, for a total transaction of $750,598.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 61,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,882,042.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 144,974 shares of company stock valued at $19,851,576. 11.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC increased its stake in Marriott International by 367.1% in the 4th quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 738 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 580 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its stake in Marriott International by 1,490.1% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 1,058 shares during the period. Wolverine Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Marriott International in the 4th quarter worth about $128,000. First Quadrant L P CA purchased a new position in Marriott International in the 3rd quarter worth about $136,000. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust increased its stake in Marriott International by 214.8% in the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,231 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 840 shares during the period. 66.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Deutsche Bank upped their price target on shares of Marriott International from $136.00 to $141.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Marriott International from $105.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. Susquehanna Bancshares reaffirmed a “positive” rating and set a $161.00 price target (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Marriott International in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $115.00 price target (up previously from $98.00) on shares of Marriott International in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Marriott International from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Marriott International has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $122.38.

Shares of Marriott International (MAR) opened at $142.17 on Friday. Marriott International has a 12 month low of $85.63 and a 12 month high of $149.21. The firm has a market cap of $51,830.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.45, a PEG ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.10.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.12. Marriott International had a net margin of 5.99% and a return on equity of 36.15%. The business had revenue of $5.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.61 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.85 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Marriott International will post 5.31 EPS for the current year.

Marriott International announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, November 9th that permits the company to repurchase 30,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Marriott International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.48%.

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About Marriott International

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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