Ahead of the Bell: Marriott International

NEW YORK -- Marriott International Inc. will give investors a first look at how the hotel industry weathered a tough summer when it reports earnings for the third quarter after the market closes

The Bethesda. Md., company will report earnings for the quarter that ended Sept. 7. When it reported second-quarter results three months ago, it seemed confident it could boost earnings this year through higher bookings and rates despite slowing growth overseas. It raised its profit forecast for the year but cut its prediction for fees for extras like in-room wireless Internet. It said demand growth was slowing in once booming markets like the Middle East and Asia.

But the global economy has since slowed down. Still, observers think Marriott will be able to keep its vow to improve earnings, because it's still been able to raise prices.

Marriott expects revenue per available room _ a key measure of performance for hotel companies _ to grow by 6 to 8 percent this year. That metric rose 6.7 percent in the second quarter. And reservations are holding up well despite many people becoming more skittish about spending freely on vacation.

In addition to its namesake brand, Marriott also operates Ritz-Carlton hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites and other brands.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of 40 cents per share on revenue of $2.65 billion. Without charges related to the spin-off of its time share business, it earned $104 million, or 29 cents per share last year. Revenue was $2.87 billion.