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Bull of the Day: Marriott International (MAR)

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One logical result of a strong global economy is that leisure and travel companies will see renewed activity. What’s more, we often see that legacy brands are able to leverage their industry dominance to really cash in on these upticks. These two factors, along with several other key fundamentals, should point investors in the direction of Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Free Report) right now.

Marriott is the world's largest hotel company. Its portfolio of brands includes Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, and many more. Marriott recently completed a deal to purchase Starwood, adding even more infamous hotel chains to its portfolio.

The benefits of this acquisition, along with the aforementioned strength of the global economy and a series of great earnings reports, have left analysts and investors in a daze. Shares are soaring, earnings estimates are on the rise, and the stock is sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Let’s take a closer look.

Latest Earnings and Outlook

Marriott most recently reported earnings on Nov. 7. The company posted third-quarter adjusted profits of $1.10, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.98 and expanding about 26% from the year-ago period. Adjusted total revenues of $5.66 billion also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were up more than 46% year-over-year.

In the third quarter, Marriott’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) for worldwide comparable system-wide properties increased 2.4%. International comparable system-wide RevPAR rose 6.7%, while RevPAR in North America inched 0.4% higher. Total adjusted expenses decreased 1.6% year over year to $5 billion.

Marriott also adjusted its fourth-quarter earnings per share expectations to $0.98 - $1.00 from the previously announced range of $0.96 - $1.05. Based on our current consensus estimates, we expect the company to post earnings of $1.00 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 18%, when it reports next month.

Earnings Estimate Revisions

As we can see, Marriott’s earnings estimate revision snapshot is attractive. Specifically, we are looking at a strong upward trend for its upcoming fiscal year earnings estimates, indicating that analyst outlook for the company is improving. This should be encouraging for investors as Marriott moves into its next fiscal year soon.

Other Key Metrics

On top of its strong estimate picture, Marriott is also sporting “A” grades in the Growth and Momentum categories of our Style Scores system. The company is currently generating a respectable $3.32 in cash per share on the back of 32% cash flow growth. Meanwhile, earnings are expected to improve at an annualized rate of 12% over the next three to five years.

Marriott shares have now climbed over 70% within the past years. The stock is resting near its all-time high, which could attract momentum investors looking to cash in on a continued surge. Shares have already moved more than 6% higher in 2018.

Want more analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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