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Marriott (MAR) Expands Fairfield Brand With European Debut

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Marriott International, Inc.'s (MAR - Free Report) Fairfield by Marriott brand marks its European debut with the unveiling of Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn. This move signifies the brand's focus on expanding its global presence.

Nestled in Copenhagen's vibrant North Harbour district, Fairfield by Marriott brings the beauty of simplicity to the city. The brand is known for its rich heritage that values a simple, seamless and stress-free experience and finds an ideal match in modern Scandinavian culture and design. This makes Copenhagen the perfect city to introduce its European-inspired aesthetic.

The second largest brand within Marriott Bonvoy's global portfolio, Fairfield by Marriott boasts more than 1,290 open hotels worldwide. It also maintains a robust pipeline of over 450 properties globally, with 17 additional hotels expected to open in Europe and the Middle East. The brand anticipates further awaited openings across key business and leisure destinations in Europe.

Focus on Expansion

Marriott is consistently trying to expand its presence worldwide and capitalize on the demand for hotels in international markets. The company plans to expand its global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands significantly.  As of Dec 31, 2023, the company operated, franchised and acted as a licensor of hotels, timeshare properties and other lodging properties of 8,785 properties across 139 countries and territories under more than 30 brand names.

Marriott is focusing on hotel conversion opportunities to mitigate the impact of construction delays caused by the pandemic. In 2023, conversions represented 40% of room signings and 25% of room openings. The company expects positive development trends to continue on the back of new development and multiunit conversion opportunities.

The hotel company is also trying to strengthen its presence outside the United States, especially in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The company’s European pipeline has grown consistently in the recent past and is expected to continue. At the end of fourth-quarter 2023, Marriott's development pipeline totaled 3,379 hotels, with approximately 573,000 rooms. More than 232,000 rooms were under construction.

Price Performance

Zacks Investment Research
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Shares of Marriott have gained 54.6% in the past year compared with the industry’s 37.7% growth. The company is benefiting from solid leisure demand, digital initiatives and the loyalty program. Also, the focus on unit-expansion efforts bodes well.

Marriott is pursuant to uncertainties in financial markets on account of liquidity constraints. The banking environment in the United States and Europe has been challenging due to rising interest rates. Financing conditions in these regions have been challenging, with some banks waiting for more clarity on capital requirements and potential regulations. Despite lending challenges, deals with committed financing are still progressing and there hasn't been a significant increase in deals falling through the pipeline. Earnings estimates for 2024 have declined in the past 60 days, depicting analysts’ concern over the stock’s growth potential.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector include:

Adtalem Global Education Inc. (ATGE - Free Report) sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). ATGE has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 16.9% on average. Shares of ATGE have surged 28.8% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATGE’s fiscal 2024 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 6.4% and 10.2%, respectively, from the year-ago levels. Group Limited (TCOM - Free Report) currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). TCOM has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 53.1%, on average. Shares of TCOM have gained 28.2% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for TCOM’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 18.2% and 8%, respectively, from the year-ago levels.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 17.8% on average. Shares of H have rallied 42.1% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 3.5% and 27%, respectively, from the year-ago levels.

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