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In preparation for MAR's 3Q earnings release tomorrow night, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.

MAR YOUTUBE - MAR2

YOUTUBE FROM 2Q CONFERENCE CALL

  • “We expect to share our 2013 earnings outlook with you in February after we complete our budget process. So, we will not be providing earnings guidance for 2013 this coming October.”
  • “Are you seeing a slowdown in North America and the answer is no”
  • “In North America, year-to-date the Marriott brand's special corporate revenue has been strong, up over 8%; group revenue rose 7% year-to-date and group bookings for the second half are even stronger.”
  • “Our strong book of business in 2012 allowed us to drive REVPAR aggressively in the first quarter, but in the second quarter strong seasonal demand combined with a continuing recovery yielded an uptick in sellout nights.  Looking ahead, as occupancies build, further run rate improvement should follow.”
  • “In Asia and the Middle East, REVPAR growth rates for a few luxury hotels are expected to moderate in the second half, largely associated with individual market issues. In Europe, third quarter REVPAR will be helped by the Olympics in London and the Euro Cup championship. At the same time, the weak European economy will likely create headwinds. 
  • “We've also reduced our room opening expectations a bit for 2012. In the first quarter, we noted slippage in opening dates from 2012 to 2013 for some new hotels in Asia and the Middle East. In the second quarter, the slippage continued in these markets as well as with a few projects in Mexico. We continue to see a lot of conversion opportunities around the world but they too are taking a bit longer as some projects require more extensive renovation before flagging. As a result, today we expect to open 20,000 to 25,000 rooms in 2012. Since this reduction is largely timing, we continue to expect to add 90,000 to 105,000 rooms from 2012 through 2014. 
  • “DC is so meaningful that it's weak REVPAR in the quarter reduced our company-operated North American REVPAR by a point. But even here there is good news; interest in the upcoming election is starting to drive political business to the city. Group revenue bookings in DC for the Marriott brand are up 10% for the second half of 2012 and 16% for 2013. 2013 should be a good year overall in this market but we'll have to see how government demand shakes out. Next year's government per diems will be set this August and we will be watching this carefully.”
  • “Looking ahead for the second half of the year, group booking pace is up 10% and 2013 booking pace is up 8%.  We are very bullish about pricing in North America in 2013. For group business on the books for next year, room rates are running up 4%. On the transient side, we are targeting price increases for special corporate business at a high single-digit rate on average.”
  • “For the full year, our guidance assumes approximately $9 million year-over-year lower fees due to foreign exchange.”
  • [Courtyard transaction] “With this transaction, Marriot expects to recognize about $5 million in fee revenue for deferred base fees and approximately $40 million gain in the third quarter. We've already received $90 million in cash proceeds from the transaction, demonstrating once again our success in recycling capital.” 
  • [Drivers around of $20MM guide down ]  “FX and re-licensing fees by and large are driven by the sale of existing franchised hotels and that volume has been down a bit lower than we expected, a little bit softer REVPAR with some fine-tuning around individual assets. And the sale of the ExecuStay business and with it the elimination of that is a mid single-digit number of millions of dollars on a full year basis”
  • “I think we still expect in full-year 2012 that our incentive fees will be growing about 20%.”
  • FY2012 WW RevPAR guidance: “Well, I think 6 to 7 is more likely than the high end of 7 to 8, but…business is good.”
  • “We would think Europe will continue to tick along around of that 3% sort of number. Q3 maybe a bit better because of the Olympics and Q4 maybe a bit worse because we don't have anything like the Olympics, which is likely to help Q4, but still kind of the same rates that we've seen.”
  • “China, we've been…10 or above year-to-date, I suspect the right set of expectations would be as high single-digit as opposed to a double-digit growth rate for the balance of the year reflecting a somewhat more modest growth rate there.”
  • “Middle East, I think is going to be very interesting. Our team has got some optimism in places like Egypt that we could be pleased to see business coming back a little bit faster than we're planning.  On the other hand, we're really wary about building in expectations from a place like Egypt, which are too bullish. Dubai, by contrast is very strong. It's a safe haven in many respects in the Middle East, and notwithstanding substantial supply growth, it is continuing to post good numbers on the books. The rest of the Middle East varies dramatically market-to-market. You've got political environments which vary from place to place and the economic environments which vary from place to place, but I think generally the Middle East ought to be performing reasonably well as the year goes along.”
  • [In the Q for the Q bookings] “They're a little lower than in the first quarter, because we have a lot of full hotels, because of the booking pace we've been talking about for the last two quarters, being up so high. But for the full year, we would expect the in the quarter for the quarter, to still represent about 30% with the other two-thirds booked the previous year.”
  • “We will continue to manage our leverage to 3 to 3.25 times debt-to-EBITDA. So that's what we are targeting for.”
  • Q: “Are you seeing as healthy a recovery in secondary markets as you are in gateway cities”
    • A: “Generally, yes”
  • Q: “Hotels that's in existence today versus I guess sort of peak staffing levels in 2007, how far off are you?”
    • A: “Typical hotel would be fairly close. I think the permanent reduction in head count would probably mostly be around management staff and how heavy that is and how much we've been able to do above property and do it a little bit more efficiently than used to be done on property. But that is likely to affect a relatively small number of people in a hotel, the restaurant staff and the housekeeping staff and the other key members of the team that are focused on serving our guests as occupancy has gotten back to and now beyond peak levels. So we're performing at occupancy levels which are in excess of the 2007 and 2008 levels. I suspect we have seen staffing come most of the way back to where it was before.”