Marriott (MAR) Q2 Earnings Put a Muzzle on Bears

Bethesda, MD-based Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) reported second quarter earnings of $.31 cents per share, ahead of the consensus analyst earnings estimates $.28 cents per share. In Q1 2010, Marriott released $.22 per share. The leisure and hotel company is delivering 41% quarter-over-quarter earnings growth in 2010.

Revenue rose to $2.8 billion, better than $2.6 billion a year ago and the $2.75 consensus analyst estimate for the 2nd quarter this year.

J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “This is an exciting time for Marriott.  Business and leisure stays at our hotels are trending up.  Revenue per available room increased more than expected in the second quarter and room rates at company-operated hotels in North America rose for the first time in nearly two years.

“We are seeing major international growth.  At the end of the quarter, a record 39 percent of our development pipeline was outside North America as were two-thirds of our worldwide rooms under construction.  During the quarter, we opened superb new international hotels in Phuket, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Budapest.

Marriott (MAR): $32.14 per share as of July 14th closing bell:

“We anticipate even more favorable pricing in the second half of 2010 and into 2011.  Combined with productivity improvements achieved over the last year, strong unit growth and increasing demand, we look forward to growing cash flow and strong earnings in 2010 and beyond,” Marriott, Jr. also said.

Marriott’s 137,000 employees can rest a bit easier now the hospitality company is showing healthier signs of a turnaround. Meanwhile, Marriott insider executives have been taking profits and dumping MAR share in exchange for cash leading up to today’s earnings release. The stock is up 1% after-hours to $32.50 per share.

Marriott International’s major competitors include Starwood (NYSE:HOT), Wyndham (NYSE:WYN), Hyatt (NYSE:H) and Intercontinental Hotels (NYSE: IHG).

For more detailed information on the Marriott earnings release, visit here.

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