Summer traffic helps Marriott's earnings rise 44%

October 02, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Marriott Corp., a Bethesda-based hotel company, reported yesterday that income in its third quarter ended Sept. 11 increased by 44 percent, to $26 million, from the same period a year ago.

Earnings per share increased 16.6 percent, to 21 cents. Sales during the quarter went to $1.9 billion from $1.8 billion.

J. W. Marriott Jr., the company's chairman and president, said profits increased in most divisions. Earnings were boosted by more air travel during the summer and from cost controls begun in the past two years, he said.

However, profits for one of the main divisions -- Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites -- were lower because of the poor economy and the highly competitive market, the company said.

For the nine months ended Sept. 11, income was $66 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $55 million, or 54 cents a share. Sales increased to $5.9 billion from $5.6 billion for the same period last year.

Michael L. Mead, vice president for research at Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. in Baltimore, said the results for the third quarter were less than the 28 cents a share he had predicted. But, he noted, the earnings did improve under difficult circumstances.

"They are holding up well under sluggish economic conditions," Mr. Mead said.

He said the company's flagship hotel operation still appears to be under pressure because of the overcapacity in the industry. "There are too many rooms chasing too few people," Mr. Mead said.

Marriott stock decreased 25 cents a share yesterday, closing at $17.125 a share.

Three months ended 9/11/92

......Revenue... .... .... Net.... .... .... Share

'92.. 1,948,000,000 ... ..26,000,000... ...0.21

'91.. 1,835,000,000 ... ..18,000,000... ...0.18

% change +6.2... ... ... ... +44.4... ... ... +16.6

Nine months ended 9/11/92

......Revenue... .... .... Net.... .... .... Share

'92...5,937,000,000... .. 66,000,000... ...0.51

'91...5,602,000,000... .. 55,000,000... ...0.54

change +6.0... ... ... ... +20.0... ... ... 5.6

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