* Q4 adj EPS $0.43 vs est. $0.41
* Q4 francishing rev down 13 pct
* Sees Q1 EPS $0.25 vs est. $0.27
* Sees 2010 EPS $1.65-$1.70 vs est $1.67
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Choice Hotels International Inc’s (CHH.N) adjusted fourth-quarter profit beat Wall Street estimates, hurt in part by a decline in franchising revenue, and forecast first-quarter earnings below estimates.
For the first quarter, the company expects to earn $0.25 a share, while analysts were expecting $0.27 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Choice, which franchises Comfort Inn and Cambria Suites hotels, said franchising revenue declined 13 percent to $62.2 million during the fourth quarter.
Net income came in at $23.6 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with $18.7 million, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
On an adjusted basis, it earned 43 cents a share, while analysts were expecting 41 cents.
Domestic system-wide revenue per available room fell 14.4 percent during the quarter.
For 2010, the company now expects to earn between $1.65 a share and $1.70 a share. In January, Choice projected earnings of $1.70 per share for the year.
Shares of the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company closed at $31.69 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the alerts, double click [ID:nWNAB6558] (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)