Marriott International (MAR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, October 26th. The brokerage currently has a $130.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 8.23% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Marriott has become the world's largest hotel company post its acquisition of Starwood. Marriott's shares have also outpaced the market at large since the aquisition. Moreover, given a steady rise in business and leisure travel, Marriott is poised to grow in the near as well as long term. Its rising North American business and large international exposure should also continue to drive growth. Particularly, the joint venture with Alibaba is expected to aid in capturing a greater share of the growing Chinese travel market. Furthermore, investments in technology for hotel bookings are likely to improve guest experience and thus boost occupancy. Also, the company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Yet, lingering political uncertainties in key international markets, currency headwinds and integration risks related to Starwood acquisition remain concerns. Estimates have been stable ahead of its Q3 earnings release.”



A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Wolfe Research raised shares of Marriott International from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Marriott International from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Robert W. Baird set a $103.00 price objective on shares of Marriott International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $98.00 target price on shares of Marriott International in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Berenberg Bank reissued a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Marriott International in a research note on Friday, August 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $106.64.

Shares of Marriott International (NASDAQ MAR) opened at $120.11 on Thursday. Marriott International has a 12 month low of $72.75 and a 12 month high of $124.34. The company has a quick ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The firm has a market cap of $43,789.86, a PE ratio of 29.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.00 and a beta of 1.34.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $5.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.22 billion. Marriott International had a net margin of 6.30% and a return on equity of 31.58%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.91 EPS. equities analysts expect that Marriott International will post 4.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Marriott International declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, November 9th that allows the company to repurchase 30,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Marriott International news, EVP Edward A. Ryan sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $648,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 74,406 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,035,848. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Edward A. Ryan sold 4,453 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.81, for a total value of $462,265.93. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 80,406 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,346,946.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 80,727 shares of company stock valued at $8,344,400 over the last 90 days. 11.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Marriott International by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,999,062 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,006,106,000 after purchasing an additional 331,586 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in Marriott International by 32.5% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 15,406,182 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,545,394,000 after purchasing an additional 3,780,639 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in Marriott International by 0.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,173,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,334,828,000 after purchasing an additional 73,403 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Marriott International by 7.2% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 12,763,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,280,257,000 after purchasing an additional 862,710 shares during the period. Finally, Eaton Vance Management increased its stake in Marriott International by 13.1% in the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 2,371,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,855,000 after purchasing an additional 275,477 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 65.88% of the company’s stock.

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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