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 to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $158.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 11.95% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

MAR has been the topic of several other reports. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Marriott International from $110.00 to $112.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $115.00 price target (up previously from $98.00) on shares of Marriott International in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on Marriott International to $108.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. BidaskClub raised Marriott International from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. 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 research note on Friday, November 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $114.26.

Marriott International (NASDAQ MAR) traded down $0.87 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $141.13. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,691,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,367,742. 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 company has a market capitalization of $52,350.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.35, a PEG ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.35. Marriott International has a 52-week low of $83.72 and a 52-week high of $142.69.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $5.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. Marriott International had a return on equity of 31.58% and a net margin of 6.30%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Marriott International will post 4.24 earnings per share for the current year.

Marriott International announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, November 9th that authorizes the company to repurchase 30,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, EVP Stephanie Linnartz sold 8,333 shares of Marriott International stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the executive vice president now owns 28,263 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,471,261.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Craig S. Smith sold 5,840 shares of Marriott International stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.26, for a total value of $795,758.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 26,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,585,954.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 221,825 shares of company stock worth $27,378,820. 11.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. AHL Partners LLP increased its position in Marriott International by 230.4% during the second 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 acquired a new position in Marriott International during the second quarter worth approximately $772,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Marriott International by 0.8% during the third 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. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its position in Marriott International by 0.7% during the third 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. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in shares of Marriott International by 3.7% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,305,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $143,989,000 after acquiring an additional 46,517 shares during the period. 66.67% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR)

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