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Marriott Vacations (VAC) Updates Q3 View, Cancellations Rise

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Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC - Free Report) recently updated its third-quarter 2021 outlook. The company continues to benefit from robust occupancies. Following the news, its shares appreciated 4.7% on Sep 13. The stock has gained 58.2% in the past year, compared with the industry’s growth of 24.4%.

Although there has been a marginal increase in cancellations due to the Delta variant and wildfires near Lake Tahoe, the company is seeing robust occupancies at most of its resorts. It  anticipates contract sales in third-quarter 2021 to be toward the lower end of original guidance of $380-$410 million. Owing to the robust performance, the company expects free cash flow generation.

Stephen P. Weisz, CEO said, “With our product offerings resonating with customers more than ever, we expect our Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter to approach 2019 levels.”

The company announced that it has restored a 54 cents per share dividend payment. This will be paid on Oct 7, 2021 to shareholders of record as of Sep 23, 2021. The board of directors also approved the share repurchase program of up to $250 million of its common stock.

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Occupancy Continues to Improve

Marriott Vacations has been witnessing sequential improvement in occupancy rates, thereby highlighting people’s willingness to go on vacations. During second-quarter 2021, the company witnessed strong occupancy rates at short-haul fly-to locations. Occupancy rates at Florida Beach and U.S. Virgin Island resorts increased in the average-95% range, while the same in Mountain and Desert resorts were nearly 90% during the quarter.

During the second quarter, the company witnessed improvement in occupancy rates in states that previously lagged the same. Occupancy rates in Orlando, which represented more than 40% of North America keys, averaged nearly 85% occupancy during the quarter. It also witnessed solid improvement in Hawaii occupancy rates (excluding Kauai), following the lifting of restrictions in October 2020. Occupancy rates for Hawaii averaged nearly more than 90% during the quarter.

Marriott Vacations, which shares space with Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV - Free Report) , has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space include Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. (PLYA - Free Report) and Civeo Corporation (CVEO - Free Report) . Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Playa Hotels & Resorts have surged 16.4% in the past month.

Civeo has an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 10%.