Marriott International, Inc. MAR recently announced the addition of the Paragraph Freedom Square, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia, to its Luxury Collection portfolio. This marks the brand’s first property in the region.
Located on Freedom Square, the property comprises 220 guest rooms and suites with amenities like a fitness center, dining spaces, lounge and event spaces (of 1,400 square meters). The property is in proximity to leisure attractions, including the State Opera House.
The management is optimistic concerning the hotel opening and brand growth strategy in Eastern Europe. Factors like strong global travel demand and the addition of sought-after leisure destinations are likely to pave the path for growth in the upcoming periods.
Focus on Expansion
Marriott plans to expand its global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands significantly. At the end of third-quarter 2023, Marriott’s development pipeline totaled 3,200 hotels, with approximately 557,000 rooms. More than 238,000 rooms were under construction. During the quarter, it added 97 properties (17,192 rooms) to its worldwide lodging portfolio.
Moving ahead, the company plans to open luxury hotels in iconic as well as developing destinations from Mexico to Portugal and Australia to South Korea. The hotel company is also trying to strengthen its presence outside the United States, especially in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The company’s European pipeline has grown consistently in the recent past and is expected to continue.
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Coming to price performance, shares of Marriott have gained 27.1% in the past year compared with the industry’s 14.6% growth. The company is benefiting from its focus on expansion initiatives, digital innovation and loyalty programs. MAR witnessed improved occupancies in Europe, owing to the reopening of international borders and easing of travel restrictions. The company is focused on launching new reservations, loyalty and property management platforms to boost customer engagement and drive profitability. However, heightened geopolitical risk and continued macroeconomic uncertainty are headwinds. Earnings estimates for 2023 have declined in the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ concern regarding the stock’s growth potential.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Currently, Marriott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector include:
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). RCL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 28.3% on average. Shares of RCL have surged 80.1% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL’s 2023 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 57.5% and 187.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.
DraftKings Inc. DKNG carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.2% on average. Shares of DKNG have increased 170.6% in the past year.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DKNG’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 65.3% and 51.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. SKX carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 50.3% on average. Shares of SKX have increased 39.4% in the past year.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SKX’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 8.2% and 44.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.
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