Written by StockNews.com

Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) early Tuesday [Mar 21, 2017 | 6:57am] provided some optimistic guidance about the growth of its businesses, with its earnings guidance for 2019 far exceeding analyst expectations.

The Bethesda, MD-based lodging giant said its expects to add $675 million in stabilized fees from hotel rooms added to its system in 2017 and continuing through 2019. As a result, it expects diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $5.25 to $5.80 by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 17% to 21% versus 2016 results.

On average, Wall Street analysts are looking for much lower 2019 EPS of $5.07. It’s worth noting that such far-out analyst estimates are often subject to significant revisions over time.

Marriott also expects RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) growth of 1% to 3% compounded annually through 2019, although the company noted that is only an estimate and not a firm forecast. RevPAR is a key industry metric that’s considered perhaps the most important indicator of a lodging firm’s health.

Cash available for shareholders is expected to total $8.3 to $9.3 billion through 2019, and shareholders could see $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion in dividends during that timeframe. That’s assuming a continued 30% payout ratio. MAR also expects $6.9 to $7.8 billion in stock buybacks over the next three years.

Marriott International Inc. shares were unchanged in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, MAR has gained 7.62%, versus a 5.92% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

MAR currently has a StockNews.com POWR Rating of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 19 stocks in the Travel – Hotels/Resorts category.

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