Marriott International, Inc.’s (MAR - Free Report) renowned brand The Luxury Collection Hotels and resorts recently announced the official launch of a hotel — The Whitley.
Located in the heart of Atlanta's urban chic Buckhead neighborhood, The Whitley is officially rebranding from The Ritz Carlton, Buckhead and is owned by Host Hotels and Resorts. The 507-room property offers all the amenities suitable for luxury guests. In fact, by providing distinguished facilities, Marriott maximizes guest satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Notably, Marriott has been consistently expanding its worldwide presence and capitalizing on the demand for hotels in international markets. The company plans to significantly grow its global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands, with expectations of gross room addition of 7% in 2018. Further, expansion through all of the company’s differentiated brands is likely to continue driving economics, scale and consumer preference.
With the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Sep 23, 2016, Marriott has become the world’s largest hotel company. Currently, it has more than 6,400 properties across 126 countries and territories, under 30 brand names. Post-acquisition, shares of the company have rallied 85.4% to date, while the S&P 500 index has gained 21.7%.
Moreover, with growing demand for business and leisure travel, we believe Marriott is poised to grow in the near as well as long term. Investments in technology for hotel bookings are likely to improve guest experience as well, thus boosting occupancy.
However, lingering political concerns in key international markets along with currency headwinds remain concerns for Marriott as well as other hotel chains like Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) , Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT - Free Report) and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation .
Nevertheless, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s continual expansion efforts and an unmatched portfolio of lodging brands raise investors’ optimism in the stock. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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