Marriott Lifts Outlook as Profit Rises 25%

Marriott International Inc. on Wednesday lifted its full-year earnings outlook as profit grew 25% in its second quarter.

The Bethesda, Md., company is now forecasting earnings of $3.10 to $3.18 a share, up from its previous guidance of $3 to $3.12 a share. For the current quarter, Marriott projected per-share earnings of 72 cents to 76 cents, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 77 cents.

Marriott International operates its namesake hotels and other brands, such as Courtyard and Renaissance. The company has been ramping up growth overseas and in the latest quarter added nearly 3,800 rooms outside the U.S. Weakening currencies in places such as Europe and the U.K. have also helped drive up demand.

For the period ended June 30, Marriott reported a profit of $240 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $192 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.

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Excluding a gain on the redemption of an equity ownership interest and other items, earnings rose to 82 cents from 71 cents a year earlier.

The company had forecast earnings of 78 cents to 83 cents.

Revenue grew 5.9% to $3.69 billion, missing analysts' expectations for $3.73 billion.

World-wide comparable revenue per available room—an industry measure of performance—rose 5.3% on a constant-dollar basis, compared with the company's expectations for growth of 5% to 7%. Occupancy ticked up 0.6 percentage point to 77.4%, while average daily rate grew 4.4% to $154.26.

(By Chelsey Dulaney)