April 22, 2011

Marriott Q1 earnings miss estimates as demand for travel slows


Marriott said worldwide revenue per available room, or revpar, rose 6.5 percent before adjustments for currency-exchange rates. That’s below the 7 percent increase the hotelier forecast last month, when it said weak North American demand is holding back growth.

Marriott International Inc.’s first-quarter earnings missed analysts’ estimates because of a slowdown in North American travel, with its hotels in the Washington area being hurt by cuts in conference spending.

Net income rose to $101 million, or 26 cents a share, from $83 million, or 22 cents, a year earlier, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company said yesterday in a statement. It was expected to earn 28 cents, the average estimate of 10 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

First-quarter earnings were affected by a decline in group bookings in the Washington region, where Marriott has about 5 percent of its rooms, Laura Paugh, senior vice president of investor relations, said during a conference call with reporters yesterday.

Demand in the U.S. capital was hampered by cuts in travel spending, the threat of a federal-government shutdown and “weakness of short-term group meetings,” she said.

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