Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) shares jumped 5.8% on February 15, after the hotelier giant delivered a blowout fourth-quarter results, significantly topping both revenues and earnings estimates.
Despite the emergence of new Omicron variants and continuing headwinds from the global pandemic, the quarterly beat was driven by meaningful recovery across all regions aided by strong demand for leisure and business travel.
Adjusted earnings of $1.30 per share grew over 10 times and significantly beat analysts’ expectations of $0.99 per share. The company reported earnings of $0.12 per share for the prior-year period.
Revenues jumped more than doubled to $4.44 billion and exceeded consensus estimates of $3.99 billion. The increase in revenues reflected a surge in Base Management and Franchise fees, which almost doubled to $737 million driven by higher Revenue per available room (RevPAR) attributable to the ongoing recovery in lodging demand.
Region-wise, RevPAR in North America and worldwide rose by nearly 143.6% and 124.5%, respectively.
On top of that, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) more than doubled to $741 million, compared to $317 million in the year-ago quarter.
Looking ahead into 2022, Marriott International CEO, Anthony Capuano, commented, “While we are keeping an eye on the continued impact from Omicron, we look forward to the day when we reach a new normal where the impact from COVID-19 on travel has essentially disappeared.”
He added, “In the meantime, we continue to focus on driving revenues, controlling costs, maximizing cash flow, and improving our credit metrics. Assuming no meaningful setback in the global recovery, we could begin returning cash to shareholders later in 2022.”
Wall Street’s Take
Following the upbeat Q4 results, Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli maintained a Hold rating on Marriott International with a price target of $150 (9.5% downside potential).
The rest of the Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 3 Buys and 7 Holds. The average Marriott International stock forecast of $173.40 implies 4.3% downside potential to current levels.
Investors Weigh In
TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a Very Positive stance on Marriott International, with 5.3% of investors increasing their exposure to MAR stock over the past 30 days.
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