Marriott Earnings Down 32 Percent
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LANHAM, Md. (AP) _ Marriott International’s first-quarter earnings fell 32 percent from last year, but still easily surpassed Wall Street expectations and the hotel operator’s own earlier earnings forecast.
The Bethesda-based company reported earnings of 32 cents per share for the first quarter on net income of $82 million. That was down from the 47 cents per share, or $121 million, in the same period last year.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call expected Marriott would earn 27 cents per share in the first quarter, and the company had predicted earnings would be between 26 cents and 27 cents per share.
Marriott has struggled to recover from a steep drop in travel since Sept. 11. One of its hotels was destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and room bookings at other hotels fell following the terrorist attacks.
But the company said its revenue per available room, an industry benchmark known as revpar, has steadily increased over the past several months. For the first quarter it was down 12 percent, whereas in the fourth quarter it was down 25 percent over the fourth quarter of 2001.
``Even with discounting prevalent in the industry, our brands’ revpar premiums have increased over our competitors during the past several months,″ said company CEO J.W. Marriott Jr.
Marriott also said it expected earnings to grow throughout the year, predicting earnings per share of 41 cents to 43 cents in the second quarter and $1.65 to $1.70 for the year.
The company owns hotel chains under the brand names that include Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn and Courtyard. It also operates retirement communities, resorts and food distribution services.
On the Net:
Marriott International: http://www.marriott.com