* Q2 EPS $0.42 in line with expectations
* Sees Q3 EPS $0.39-$0.41 vs. analysts view of $0.37
* Raises 2012 EPS, lowers fee revenue outlook
* Shares down 2 pct in extended trading
By A. Ananthalakshmi
July 11 Hotel operator Marriott International
Inc reported a higher quarterly profit but said it was
seeing weakness in some international markets.
The company, which owns the Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn and
Courtyard by Marriott brands, slightly lowered its fee revenue
outlook for the full year citing weak overseas
Marriott also cut its forecast for revenue per available
room (revPAR) from the international markets but raised its
full-year earnings forecast.
"This is a quarter of gives and takes," said Nomura
Securities analyst Harry Curtis.
International business was weakening due to Europe issues.
U.S. business is doing well but will have to be supported by
continued economic growth, Curtis said.
Marriott said Middle East and Asia experienced softer demand
growth, particularly in the luxury segment.
It expects revPAR -- a key metric for hotel companies as it
indicates pricing power -- to grow 5 to 7 percent in its
international business, down 1 percent from its earlier view.
The company maintained North American revPAR growth forecast of
6 to 8 percent.
Spokeswoman Laura Paugh said international business was
seeing weak demand due to economic growth concerns.
"Our outlook for rest of the year is quite good. We don't
see any sign of economic weakness in the United States," she
She said the company was on track to return $1 billion to
shareholders in 2012 through dividends and share repurchases.
Marriott repurchased about $400 million worth of stock
during the quarter.
IN-LINE SECOND QUARTER
Marriott's second-quarter net income rose to $143 million,
or 42 cents per share, from $135 million, or 37 cents per share,
a year earlier.
The profit was in line with analysts' expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"In North America, strengthening group business, more travel
by our special corporate customers, especially in the technology
and consulting industries, and the impact of modest supply
growth, drove our occupancy and room rates higher," Chief
Executive Arne Sorenson said in a statement.
Worldwide comparable systemwide revPAR rose 6.7 percent
during the quarter.
Marriott expects to add 20,000 to 25,000 rooms in 2012.
Its shares fell 2 percent to $37.20 after the bell. They
closed at $38.03 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.