Ahead of the Bell: Marriott International

Analyst still upbeat on Marriott as stock pressured a bit by Ryman's lowered outlook

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A reduced outlook by one of its hotel owners put pressure on Marriott's stock, serving as a reminder that the lodging company's shares can be vulnerable to disappointing news by others, an analyst said Wednesday.

Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. on Tuesday cut its full-year adjusted funds from operations forecast to a range of $3.43 to $3.83 per share, after real estate investment trust conversion costs. Its prior outlook was for $3.72 to $3.99 per share. The new figures were well below the $3.97 per share expected by analysts, according to FactSet.

Funds from operations, or FFO, adds such items as amortization and depreciation to net income, and it is considered a key measure of the strength of a real estate investment trust. Amortization and depreciation are accounting tools used to measure the value of a long-term asset over time.

Ryman's hotel properties are managed by Marriott International Inc. Ryman Chairman, President and CEO Colin Reed said that the company was recently told by Marriott that bookings have slowed.

Jefferies' Ian Rennardson said in a client note Wednesday that the lowered guidance from Ryman rattled Marriott's stock, sending it down 4 percent to close at $40.41 on Tuesday.

But Rennardson remains upbeat on the company, saying it continues to deliver by returning capital to shareholders, adding hotel rooms and rolling out new brands.

The analyst kept a "Hold" rating and $40 price target on Marriott's stock.

A representative for Marriott did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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