Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) saw a significant growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 12,659,690 shares, a growth of 15.7% from the August 15th total of 10,943,573 shares. Approximately 4.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,842,220 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.9 days.

In other Marriott International news, insider J W. Marriott, Jr. sold 26,362 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.78, for a total transaction of $2,683,124.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 203,286 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,690,449.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Mary K. Bush sold 1,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.89, for a total value of $121,068.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,101 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $111,079.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 94,191 shares of company stock valued at $9,512,282 in the last three months. 11.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MAR. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of Marriott International by 1,490.1% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,058 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Marriott International during the first quarter valued at about $115,000. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Marriott International during the second quarter valued at about $133,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Marriott International by 89.1% during the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,562 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 736 shares during the last quarter. Finally, North Star Investment Management Corp. raised its position in shares of Marriott International by 3.3% during the second quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 1,583 shares of the company’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 65.93% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Marriott International (NASDAQ MAR) opened at 106.42 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $102.35 and its 200-day moving average price is $98.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.93 and a beta of 1.36. Marriott International has a 12 month low of $65.91 and a 12 month high of $110.51.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.11. Marriott International had a net margin of 5.27% and a return on equity of 26.26%. The company had revenue of $5.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 48.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Marriott International will post $4.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Marriott International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 45.52%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Marriott International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and set a $109.00 price objective (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Marriott International in a report on Monday, June 12th. BidaskClub cut Marriott International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on Marriott International from $95.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on Marriott International from $101.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $100.81.

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Marriott International Company Profile

Marriott International, Inc (Marriott International) is a lodging company. Marriott International operates in three business segments: North American Full-Service, North American Limited-Service and International. Its North American Full-Service segment includes its Luxury and Premium brands (JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance Hotels, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection Hotels, Delta Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, and Tribute Portfolio) located in the United States and Canada.

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