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Marriott's profit misses estimates on slowing travel demand

[NEW YORK] Marriott International Inc reported third-quarter profit that missed estimates, and the company lowered full-year projections in the face of slowing travel demand.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at US$1.47, missing the average analyst estimate of US$1.49. The company lowered its full-year profit guidance to a range of US$5.87 to US$5.90, from its earlier projection of US$5.97 to US$6.06.

Key Insights

Revenue per available room, a key hotel industry metric also known as RevPar, increased 1.5 per cent in the quarter from a year earlier, at the midpoint of guidance for RevPar growth of 1 per cent to 2 per cent. Marriott also offered an initial forecast for 2020, projecting RevPar would be flat to up 2 per cent.

Marriott has been managing through an eventful year, including fallout from a massive data breach, Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson's treatment for pancreatic cancer, and a push from activist investor Jonathan Litt to reduce the number of brands in its portfolio.

Last month, the company acquired the W New York Union Square for US$206 million to help showcase an update for the W brand. Marriott also bought Elegant Hotels Group Plc for US$130 million to bolster its entry into the all-inclusive resort business, and sold the St Regis New York, helping to offset cash outlays.

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