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Positive conference call, particularly the commentary of RevPAR relative to GDP. Confirms our belief that hotels are in better shape than consumer sectors in this environment.

"After reaching targeted debt levels in mid 2010, we have been investing in growth while also returning substantial cash to our shareholders.  In the last 12 months, we have opened 33,000 new rooms while returning $1.4 billion to our shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.  Third quarter share repurchases alone totaled $550 million. The spin-off of our timeshare business is on track and we expect to conclude the transaction in the 2011 fourth quarter. We are cautiously optimistic about 2012 and are well-positioned for continued growth.  We expect to add approximately 30,000 rooms in 2012, most of which are already under construction and included in our 105,000 room development pipeline.  While there is considerable economic uncertainty, assuming worldwide systemwide REVPAR growth of 3 to 7%, our earnings per share could total $1.48 to $1.68 per share and return on invested capital could increase substantially."

-J.W. Marriott, Jr. MAR chairman and CEO

3Q HIGHLIGHTS

  • WW REVPAR comparable systemwide properties increased 6.9% (+8.7% in actual dollars).  Ex ME and Japan markets, WW comparable systemwide REVPAR rose 7.4% (+9.0% increase in actual dollars).
  • International comparable systemwide REVPAR rose 6.9% (+15.8% increase in actual dollars), including a 4.9increase in average daily rate (+13.6% in actual dollars). Ex ME and Japan, international comparable systemwide constant dollar REVPAR increased 9.2% (+18.7% increase in actual dollars).
  • NA comparable systemwide REVPAR increased 6.9%
  • Adjusted EBITDA: $240MM; Adjusted EPS: $0.29
    • Adjusted results exclude $352 million pretax ($251 million after-tax and $0.73 per diluted share) of non-cash other charges.  Other charges include $324 million pretax of impairment charges, which Marriott previously disclosed, related to the timeshare segment.  Other charges also include an $18 million pretax impairment charge on an investment in equity securities due to a recent decline in the market price of these securities and a $10 million pretax write-off of both deferred contract acquisition costs and an accounts receivable balance related to one property whose owner filed for bankruptcy.  Adjusted results also exclude $32 million ($0.09 per diluted share) of tax expense recorded in conjunction with the write-off of international deferred tax assets related to the timeshare segment that Marriott determined were impaired, which the company also previously disclosed.
  • Marriott added 38 new properties (5,969 rooms), including the Ritz-Carlton Oman, the Boscolo Palace Roma, Autograph Collection, in Rome and the Courtyard Pune City Centre in India.  Five properties (1,234 rooms) exited the system. At quarter-end, the company's lodging group encompassed nearly 3,700 properties and timeshare resorts for a total of more than 638,000 rooms.
  • The company's worldwide pipeline: 650 properties with over 105,000 rooms at quarter-end.
  • NA profit margins increased 130 bps, primarily reflecting higher occupancy and rate increases.  House profit margins for comparable company-operated properties outside NA increased 40 bps, challenged by lower REVPAR in the Middle East and Japan.
  • Owned, leased, corporate housing and other revenue, net of direct expenses, increased from $7MM in the 2010 third quarter to $35MM, largely reflecting $13MM of higher credit card and residential branding fees, $8MM of higher termination fees and improved operating results at leased hotels.
  • Timeshare segment contract sales: $179MM; 43% of timeshare contract sales came from new customers compared to 37% in the year ago quarter.  Average contract price improved 45% YoY while volume per guest increased 10% in the third quarter.
  • Adjusted G&A: $170MM
    • Adjusted general, administrative and other expenses also increased due to higher costs associated with growth in international markets and incentive compensation increases.  The increase in adjusted expenses was partially offset by $6 million of lower legal expenses.  The quarter-over-quarter variance also reflected the unfavorable impact of the$4 million reversal in the 2010 third quarter of an accrual related to a tax settlement on a European asset.
  • Interest expense: $39MM
  • Debt: $3.103 BN, including $830MM of debt associated with securitized Timeshare mortgage notes, and cash balances totaled $220MM
  • Diluted Shares: 356.8MM 
  • Share repurchase: 18MM shares for $550MM
    •  Remaining share repurchase: 12.4MM shares.
  • Guidance:

MAR 3Q2011 CONF CALL NOTES - guidance

  • 2011 Capex: $500-600MM ($50-100MM maintenance)

CONF CALL NOTES

  • Reportability issues impacted timeshare segment results by a penny but FX and better RevPAR more than offset that
  • Transient demand was very healthy
  • NA systemwide RevPAR was down 2% in DC this quarter. Better group bookings in an increase in ADRs should help DC in the 4Q
  • Courtyard will be fully renovated by YE 2013
  • Ritz had a great quarter - WW luxury incentive fees almost doubled in the quarter. Their pipeline is 6,000 rooms - largely international
  • Marriott brand group business and catering revenues were up 2%. Impacted by DC and slow return of association business.
    • Group bookings are running up 7% YoY
    • Group bookings made in the quarter are up 30% YoY
  • Group Business booked in the in first 3Q represented 900,000 rooms or 7% of all business booked in regions outside of their own regions. Other sales metrics also show improvement due to their new system.
  • Signed a distribution agreement with Bookings.com -allowing them to pay commissions to Bookings.com after the guest stay
  • Renegotiating their Expedia contract which is scheduled for renewal at end of year
  • Japan is recovering faster than expected
  • Incentive fees were strong in Barcelona, Amsterdam and HK
  • Stronger sales at a JV project helped contracted timeshare sales, however, there were Hurricane Irene costs, ADA compliance costs and lower reportability negatively impacting their numbers
  • G&A would have been $162MM excluding the cost of the spin off
  • Their international RevPAR growth will slow in the 4Q due to tough comps and comparability issues. RevPAR in London will remain strong but provinces are expected to be weaker.
  • Little evidence of slowdown in NA.  Group attendance is running a bit higher than expectations. Cancellations and attrition are at normal levels.
  • Lower segment timeshare guidance is due to timing of more banking options on the new points based program, lower interest income on a smaller mortgage book and more deferred revenue
  • Total cash transaction costs for the spin off: $40-50MM, already expensed $13MM of the costs. Not all the costs will be expensed in 2011 as some will be capitalized.  Spin off will occur prior to YE. S&P has rated MVW at BB-. The new warehouse facility has closed and funded.  There will be an Investor Day in late October. DB will lead a roadshow in November with expected spin off occurring in late November.
  • $325-350MM in cash tax benefits through 2015: $70-80MM cash tax benefits in 2011 and $120-130MM cash tax benefits in 2012.  Already realized $55MM of tax benefits YTD.
  • MAR should receive a $150MM cash distribution in the 4Q prior to the completion of the spin off
  • Timeshare net of the transaction costs will contribute $0.10-$0.11 to 2011 earnings. Once the spin off is complete, they will provide pro-forma financials.
  • Expect to slow their share repurchase pace in the 4Q
  • Outlook for 2012
    • Not seeing any weakening of their business but seeing the same headlines as the rest of us.
    • 3% RevPAR growth assumes 1% GDP growth and is likely too conservative while 7% assumes 3% GDP growth which is likely too aggressive
    • Even with no GDP growht they still expect some modest RevPAR growth in NA. Supply is only expected to grow .5% in 2012.  They think it's highly unlikely to see RevPAR decline.  There has never been a single month of RevPAR decline when supply growth is less than 1% since the 1980's.
  • Their pipeline is growing and it's largely international.
  • MAR's openings have represented 25% all new NA opening [this past quarter]
  • Autograph RevPAR rose 12%.  Expect to have 60-70 properties opened/signed by 2012.
  • Return to peak 2007 RevPAR is on the horizon and more importantly, a return to fee revenue is on the horizon. 
  • Expect to open 5,000 in the 4Q11 and 30,000 in 2011 and 2012
  • Expect to grow their system wide rooms with minimal capex
  • Expect another $500-$1BN for stock buyback or opportunistic investment. Expect some buyback activity for 2012 even under the 3% RevPAR growth scenario
  • Prior peak earnings - ex timeshare in 2007 would have been $1.51 - so they should exceed peak EPS in 2012 even if they see a weak RevPAR environment (ex timeshare spin costs)
  • Group revenue on the books is up 7% for 2012 and government per diem rates is up 4%

Q&A

  • Group bookings color for 2012:
    • Group revenue on the books is up 7% for 2012.  August group bookings made for 2012 were up 14% despite market turmoil.  Even after August, group bookings in the works, aka "funnel", were up 17% YoY
    • Feel really good about their group bookings going forward - partly due to their sales transformation. 
  • Sales Force One
    • $100-150MM of business in 2011 from bookings pitched to one city made to another
    • Feel like they are continuing to make progress with Sales Force One
  • Expect that Sales Transformation will help them take further market share as it continues to develop and improve
  • In a growing economic environment, Transient will outpace Group
  • UK Provinces is the one meaningful region for them where they are feeling the impact of austerity measures. Only have one hotel in Greece so can't really comment.  Rest of Europe is still strong for them.  Their guidance for 2012 assumes more modest RevPAR in Europe than rest of world given a difficult comp schedule and the economies there
  • 90% of their rooms in the pipeline in China are under construction. They often sign hotel contracts for hotels already under construction in China.  Despite difficult Shanghai Expo comps, RevPAR in China is still very strong and showing no signs of slowdown.
  • 2012: Excess FCF of $500MM-$1BN. Assumes that investment activity in 2012 will be up YoY; likely moderately higher than 2011's $500-600MM. May acquire some hotels for repositioning but there is nothing in the works on that front today.
  • Does their guidance include some leverage increase?
    • They will maintain 3x leverage but with growing EBITDA, that gives them capacity for more debt. 
    • So yes, it includes more debt commensurate with maintaining 3x leverage
  • 2012 will also benefit from the share activity already done, which isn't really reflected in 2011.  So 2012 guidance really doesn't include a big benefit from buybacks. Any buybacks they do include assume a much higher stock price
  • International house profit margins would have been up 70bps excluding ME
  • Total fee performance for 2012 should be a little higher than 2007 levels but comprised of higher quality fees (i.e.less incentive fees) and the base and franchise fees will be more diversified across international geographies. 
  • Think that corporate rates will be up in 2012. September occupancies domestically were exactly in-line with 2007 levels. Record demand occupancy is one of the positive attributes to the upcoming negotiations.
  • Incentive fees from the select services brands are computed largely on a pooled basis vs. on an individual hotel basis. So it will take a little while longer for those to come back.  Refreshes should help RevPAR and incentive fees get back to being in the money.  Some of their largest Courtyard portfolios (50-100 hotels) aren't paying fees in 2011 and they don't assume that they will pay fees in 2012.
  • Their current valuation strikes them as highly compelling today. However, if they believed that there was a large risk of a meaningful RevPAR decline that would change their view on buybacks, but they just have good comfort that they are still in the early innings of what should be a long recovery. Therefore they think it's a good time to use the capacity they have to buy back stock.
  • They will increase the buyback authorization when they need to. 
  • Possibility of corporate rates being flat or negative?
    • Thinks it's unlikely given the occupancy rates today
  • Commission rate with Expedia?
    • Will not disclose. The contract expires at the end of this year. 3% of their total business comes from OTA's including Expedia. Expedia is about 1% of their system.  So negotiations will not have a significant impact on their business next year.
  • Corporate negotiated rate increase vary market by market for each large group
  • In September, they are not seeing any slowdown in their business and feedback from meeting planners is still that they will spend more in 2012 than 2011