Strong US demand drives profit beats at Marriott, Hyatt

Reuters

* Marriott earnings/share $0.52 vs est. $0.45

* Sees 2014 systemwide RevPAR increasing 4 to 6 percent

* Hyatt adjusted earnings/share $0.23 vs est $0.21

* Hyatt's U.S. full-service hotel RevPAR rises 7.6 pct

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Hotels chains Marriott International Inc and Hyatt Hotels Corp reportedstronger-than-expected quarterly profits as a rebound in U.S.business travel boosted both hotel occupancy and room rates.

At Marriott, comparable systemwide revenue per availableroom, or RevPAR, in North America rose 5.2 percent in the thirdquarter ended Sept. 30.

Hyatt's U.S. full-service hotel RevPAR rose 7.6 percent inthe same period.

RevPAR is a metric of hotel health, calculated bymultiplying a hotel's average daily room rate by its occupancyrate.

Marriott said short-term group bookings picked up in NorthAmerica, while the average daily rate in the region increased3.9 percent.

"For 2014, we expect North America systemwide RevPAR andworldwide systemwide RevPAR to increase 4 to 6 percent,"Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said in a statement.

Marriott's North American group bookings for next year arestrengthening, and are up over 4 percent compared to a gain of 2percent three months earlier.

Revenue reported total revenue of $3.16 billion for thethree months ended Sept. 30, up from $2.73 billion it reportedfor the 86-day quarter ended Sept. 7, 2012. The company ismoving to a calendar reporting cycle starting this year.

Third quarter net income totaled $160 million, or 52 centsper share, compared with $143 million, or 44 cents, in theyear-earlier period.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 45 cents pershare on revenue of $3.04 billion, according to Thomson ReutersI/B/E/S.

INTERNATIONAL DRAGS HYATT

Hyatt revenue rose 4 percent to $1.02 billion in the thirdquarter. Net income rose to $55 million, or 35 cents per share,from $23 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported adjustedearnings of 23 cents per share, ahead of Wall Street's estimateof 21 cents.

Marriott said the strength seen in North American wasreplicated elsewhere but Hyatt's average room prices at itsinternational hotels fell, offsetting some of the U.S. growth.

RevPAR fell 3 percent at Hyatt's managed and franchisehotels in the Asia-Pacific region, hurt mainly by China.

"A lack of demand in China, increased supply growth in Chinaand tougher Olympic-related comparisons in Europe in the thirdquarter were mainly the culprits," FBR Capital Markets & Coanalyst Nikhil Bhalla said.

Average daily room rates at managed properties fell 4.5percent across the Asia-Pacific region and 2.4 percent acrossthe Europe, Africa and Middle East.

The company also said its board on Tuesday authorized ashare repurchase program of up to an additional $200 million.

Hyatt shares, which had risen about 19 percent this year,closed down marginally at $46.62 on the New York Stock Exchangeon Wednesday.

Shares of Marriott, which reported after the market close,were trading flat in extended trade after closing at $44.20 onthe Nasdaq.

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