How Smaller Expense Accounts = Stock Opportunity

The travel and leisure industry, like most industries, has taken a beating recently, but Rod Petrik of Stifel Nicolaus says one company’s misfortunes can be another's windfalls. Companies are cancelling conferences at expensive hotels, but Petrik points out that many of those conferences are being re-booked at hotels where prices are more moderate.

"Obviously, travel is one of the first discretionary expense line items that companies can attack, and they are, right now," Petrik told CNBC. "It's a lot more acceptable if you move going into New York or Chicago to hold that convention or meeting, as opposed to being in a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons on the beach somewhere."


It's part of the reason he likes Marriott.

"I think Marriott has a balance sheet that they're going to make it to the other side of this recession," he said, adding, "We look at lodging as a brand business, and Marriott has some of the best brands in the business, from the Ritz-Carlton at the top end to the Marriott Courtyard."

He also likes Host Hotels.


Neither Petrik, his family, nor his firm owns shares of, or has any business relationship with, Marriott or Host Hotels.