Marriott shares fall on forecast cut

Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:27pm EDT

A view of the Marriott Shanghai Hongqiao hotel May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song

A view of the Marriott Shanghai Hongqiao hotel May 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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(Reuters) - Shares of Marriott International Inc MAR.N fell 6 percent on Thursday after the hotel operator cut its forecast on weakness in some international markets such as India, China and the Middle East.

Marriott cut its 2012 fee revenue forecast range due to lower-than-expected revenue per available room (revPAR) from non-U.S. regions.

"This is not a thematic reduction but driven by individual market dynamics," Chief Executive Arne Sorensonon said on a conference call on Thursday. "We really did not see a global slowdown theme."

India and China suffered from oversupply, while the luxury market in other regions in Asia and the Middle East were weak, he said.

The company, which owns the Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott brands, however, said there was no slowdown in the United States and even its historically weaker markets such as Washington D.C. were performing well.

Marriott raised its 2012 earnings outlook but analysts said that was only due to additional share buybacks and a gain from a sale of its stake in a joint venture.

"Weakness in the global economy is impacting Marriott's ability to drive double-digit revPAR in many of its international markets," said Nomura Securities analyst Harry Curtis.

Marriott's U.S. business was picking up the slack, Curtis added.

Shares of the company fell 5 percent to $36 in late morning trade on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT.N), which has a big international presence and will report results later this month, fell 6 percent. Other hotel operators Hyatt Hotels (H.N) and Host Hotels & Resorts (HST.N) were also down.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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