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Choice beats in 3Q on stronger revenue

SILVER SPRINGS, Md. -- Choice Hotels International Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income jumped 5 percent to beat expectations and it issued better-than-expected full year forecast.

The company, based in Silver Springs, Md., franchises approximately 6,200 hotels around the world under brands including Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn.

Choice Hotels said its net income increased to $44.4 million, or 76 cents per share, for the period that ended Sept. 30. That's up from $42.3 million, or 71 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Total revenue increased nearly 8 percent to $210.4 million from $192.3 million on gains from royalty fees and marketing and reservations. The company said its overall domestic revenue per available room increased 5.6 percent for the quarter on higher occupancy and rates.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 62 cents per share on revenue of $201.1 million.

Choice Hotels CEO Stephen Joyce said the lodging industry continues to improve, despite challenging global economic conditions. The company said it will continue to invest in programs designed to drive more reservations, improve guest loyalty and improve the value of our brands.

The company forecast earnings of at least 40 cents per share for its fourth quarter; analysts were expecting 42 cents per share. It forecast earnings for the full year to range between $2.05 and $2.07 per share; analysts had forecast $1.95 per share.

Shares fell 31 cents to close at $31.32.