Marriott International (MAR) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The firm currently has a $158.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 9.67% from the company’s previous close.

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 research reports. Deutsche Bank restated a “hold” rating and set a $124.00 price target on shares of Marriott International in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on Marriott International to $108.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Marriott International from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Marriott International from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased 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 analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Marriott International presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $114.26.

Shares of Marriott International (MAR) opened at $144.07 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $53,620.00, a P/E ratio of 39.15, a PEG ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.35. Marriott International has a twelve month low of $83.81 and a twelve month high of $144.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83.

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

Marriott International announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, November 9th that allows the company to repurchase 30,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider Deborah Marriott Harrison sold 130,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.17, for a total transaction of $15,492,100.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 114,155 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,603,851.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Craig S. Smith sold 5,840 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.26, for a total value of $795,758.40. Following the transaction, 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 quarter, insiders sold 221,825 shares of company stock worth $27,378,820. Insiders own 11.32% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Marriott International during the 4th quarter worth $1,306,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its position in shares of Marriott International by 277.2% during the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 38,524 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,228,000 after buying an additional 28,311 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Marriott International during the 4th quarter worth $360,000. CAPROCK Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Marriott International during the 4th quarter worth $246,000. Finally, Creative Planning grew its position in shares of Marriott International by 6.5% during the 4th quarter. Creative Planning now owns 29,816 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,047,000 after buying an additional 1,823 shares in the last quarter. 66.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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