Marriott Seizes Bookings From Expedia to Boost Shares
09/20/2007|9:11:00 AM|Bloomberg
Sept. 18 -- Marriott International Inc., the world´s largest hotel operator, has battled back against online travel agents such as to become the eighth-biggest Internet retailer by sales. That´s one reason the stock may rise over the next year even after a 10 percent tumble this year.

Through, the Bethesda, Maryland-based lodging company sold $3.7 billion worth of rooms in 2006, more than doubling revenue from the site in 2004. For the first half of 2007, Web sales for Marriott hotels, which range from luxury Ritz-Carltons to lower-priced Fairfield Inns, were up almost 25 percent.

Marriott´s online success is a ``contributing factor´´ in deciding to buy the stock.

The shares will climb an average of 27 percent over the next year, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Profit this year is predicted to surge 29 percent, the biggest increase in four years, to a record $781 million.

Marriott The stock gained a record 43 percent in 2006. This year, the shares dropped 10 percent through yesterday as Marriott twice lowered its 2007 forecast for North American growth in revenue per available room. Revpar, a measure of rates and occupancy, is expected to be 6 percent to 7 percent, down from earlier forecasts of as much as 9 percent.