The FINANCIAL — Marriott International, Inc. on April 29 reported first quarter 2015 results.
First quarter 2015 net income totaled $207 million, a 20 percent increase over 2014 first quarter net income. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the first quarter totaled $0.73, a 28 percent increase from diluted EPS in the year-ago quarter. First quarter 2015 results reflect impairment charges totaling $12 million pretax while the prior year quarter included both a $10 million pretax impairment charge and a net $16 million tax benefit. On February 18, 2015, the company forecasted first quarter diluted EPS of $0.68 to $0.72, according to Marriott.
Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “Worldwide constant dollar RevPAR increased at the high end of our expectations in the first quarter of 2015. Strong transient and group demand and very high occupancy rates in the U.S. allowed us to continue to reduce special discounts and enhance pricing. Internationally, robust demand in Mexico and our Caribbean resorts and increasing travel to Egypt drove RevPAR higher. Weak currencies in Europe, the U.K. and Japan encouraged both domestic demand and international arrivals into those markets. As a result, constant dollar RevPAR at our international hotels increased 6.7 percent, well ahead of our expectations.
“New hotel room openings accelerated in the first quarter as we added over 10,000 rooms compared to nearly 6,000 room additions in the first quarter of 2014. We are delighted to welcome guests to our newest hotels including the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa and the JW Marriott Austin and look forward to the opening of The New York EDITION in a few weeks. Despite this accelerated openings pace, our development pipeline totaled over 240,000 rooms, comparable to the year-end 2014 level.
“In 2015, we expect worldwide gross room additions of 8 percent, or 7 percent, net, including the approximately 10,000 rooms associated with our recently completed acquisition of Delta Hotels. Given our significant development pipeline and strong owner and franchisee demand for our brands, we expect our worldwide organic room growth will accelerate meaningfully in 2016.
“Marriott remains committed to its asset light strategy, recycling over $600 million of capital to date in 2015, while retaining long-term management agreements on sold hotels. Trailing-twelve-month return on invested capital reached 39 percent as of the end of the first quarter. We remain on track to return at least $1.75 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in 2015.”
For the 2015 first quarter, RevPAR for worldwide comparable systemwide properties increased 6.8 percent (a 5.2 percent increase using actual dollars).
In North America, comparable systemwide RevPAR increased 6.9 percent (a 6.6 percent increase using actual dollars) in the first quarter of 2015, including a 4.9 percent increase (a 4.7 percent increase in actual dollars) in average daily rate. RevPAR for comparable systemwide North American full-service hotels (including Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Gaylord Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels) increased 5.3 percent (a 5.0 percent increase in actual dollars) with a 4.6 percent increase (a 4.3 percent increase in actual dollars) in average daily rate. RevPAR for comparable systemwide North American limited-service hotels (including Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites) increased 8.3 percent (an 8.0 percent increase in actual dollars) in the first quarter with a 5.6 percent increase (a 5.3 percent increase in actual dollars) in average daily rate.
International comparable systemwide RevPAR rose 6.7 percent (a 0.2 percent decline using actual dollars) in the first quarter.
Marriott added 60 new properties (10,148 rooms) to its worldwide lodging portfolio in the 2015 first quarter, including the 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin in Texas, the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti and the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in Italy. Seven properties (1,420 rooms) exited the system during the quarter. At quarter-end, the company’s lodging system encompassed 4,228 properties and timeshare resorts for a total of over 723,000 rooms.
The company’s worldwide development pipeline totaled over 1,450 properties with over 240,000 rooms at quarter-end, including approximately 500 properties with 88,000 rooms under construction and 162 properties with nearly 27,000 rooms approved for development, but not yet subject to signed contracts. The company’s pipeline at the end of the first quarter did not include the approximately 10,000 rooms associated with the Delta transaction which closed on April 1, 2015.
MARRIOTT REVENUES totaled over $3.5 billion in the 2015 first quarter compared to revenues of nearly $3.3 billion for the first quarter of 2014. Base management and franchise fees totaled $369 million compared to $318 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 16 percent. The increase largely reflected higher RevPAR, higher property-level food and beverage revenue, new unit growth and $19 million of higher relicensing fees.
First quarter worldwide incentive management fees increased 25 percent to $89 million primarily due to higher RevPAR and house profit margins, particularly at in–season Florida and Caribbean resorts, as well as favorable timing of fee recognition and incentive fees from the Protea brand portfolio, which was acquired in the second quarter of 2014. In the first quarter, 48 percent of worldwide company-managed hotels earned incentive management fees compared to 35 percent in the year-ago quarter.
On February 18, the company estimated total fee revenue for the first quarter would total $440 million to $450 million. Actual total fee revenue of $458 million in the quarter was higher than estimated due to better than expected RevPAR growth and house profit margins driving incentive fees higher.
Worldwide comparable company-operated house profit margins increased 120 basis points in the first quarter with higher room rates, improved productivity, and lower utility costs. House profit margins for North American comparable company-operated properties increased 120 basis points from the year-ago quarter.
Owned, leased, and other revenue, net of direct expenses, totaled $63 million, compared to $49 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year increase largely reflected the $5 million favorable impact of the Protea acquisition, the $3 million favorable impact of several expired leases in Europe and improved results at a few hotels.
On February 18, the company estimated owned, leased, and other revenue, net of direct expenses for the first quarter would total approximately $60 million. Actual results in the quarter were above the estimate largely due to stronger results at one international leased hotel and the favorable timing of pre-opening expenses.
DEPRECIATION, AMORTIZATION, and OTHER expenses totaled $44 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $36 million in the year-ago quarter. Expenses in the 2015 first quarter include $12 million of impairment charges related to The New York EDITION hotel and The Miami Beach EDITION residences. Over the last 12 months, the company generated proceeds of nearly $1 billion from the sale of EDITION assets including the sale of The New York EDITION at the beginning of the 2015 second quarter. Expenses in the quarter also included $3 million of accelerated amortization of contract acquisition costs primarily related to contract terminations and $2 million of higher amortization of contract acquisition costs related to the Protea transaction. The 2014 first quarter expenses included a $10 million impairment charge.
On February 18, the company estimated depreciation, amortization, and other expenses for the first quarter would total $30 million. Actual expenses in the quarter were higher than expected largely due to the $12 million of impairment charges discussed above, as well as $3 million of accelerated amortization of contract acquisition costs primarily related to contract terminations.
GENERAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, and OTHER expenses for the 2015 first quarter totaled $145 million compared to $148 million in the year-ago quarter. The decline in expenses year-over-year was largely due to the $14 million net favorable impact to legal expenses associated with a few litigation resolutions, partially offset by $7 million of higher guarantee reserves and $2 million of expenses related to the Protea brand portfolio.
On February 18, the company estimated general, administrative, and other expenses for the first quarter would total $150 million to $155 million. Actual expenses in the quarter were lower than expected largely due to favorable timing and higher deferred development costs.
Provision for Income Taxes
The provision for income taxes in the first quarter of 2014 included a net $16 million non-cash tax benefit largely related to a settlement with the IRS.
Adjusted Earnings before Interest Expense, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA)
For the first quarter, adjusted EBITDA totaled $429 million, a 27 percent increase over first quarter 2014 adjusted EBITDA of $339 million. See page A-5 for the adjusted EBITDA calculation.
At quarter-end, total debt was $4,028 million and cash balances totaled $120 million, compared to $3,781 million in debt and $104 million of cash at year-end 2014.
Weighted average fully diluted shares outstanding used to calculate diluted EPS totaled 283.5 million in the 2015 first quarter, compared to 303.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company repurchased 5.5 million shares of common stock in the first quarter at a cost of $431 million. To date in 2015, the company has repurchased 7.2 million shares for $566 million.
For the 2015 second quarter, the company expects comparable systemwide RevPAR on a constant dollar basis will increase 5 to 7 percent in North America, 3 to 5 percent outside North America and 5 to 7 percent worldwide. The company’s guidance for second quarter RevPAR growth reflects the shift of Ramadan, which will begin earlier in the second quarter this year.
For full year 2015, the company expects comparable systemwide RevPAR on a constant dollar basis will increase 5 to 7 percent in North America, 4 to 6 percent outside North America and 5 to 7 percent worldwide.
The company anticipates gross room additions of approximately 8 percent, or 7 percent, net, worldwide for the full year 2015, including the approximately 10,000 rooms associated with the recently completed acquisition of Delta Hotels.
The company assumes full year fee revenue could total $1,890 million to $1,930 million, growth of 10 to 12 percent over 2014 fee revenue of $1,719 million. This fee revenue estimate reflects approximately $11 to $13 million of incremental fees associated with the Delta acquisition, partially offset by the impact of later than anticipated openings of new hotels in 2015 and the continued strengthening of the U.S. dollar. With very strong incentive fee performance in the first quarter, the company anticipates incentive management fees alone will increase at a mid-teens rate for full year 2015.
The company estimates depreciation, amortization, and other expenses for full year 2015 will total approximately $150 million, including approximately $3 million of amortization related to the Delta transaction.
For 2015, the company anticipates general, administrative and other expenses will total $635 million to $645 million, a 2 to 4 percent decline compared to 2014 expenses of $659 million. Compared to the company’s prior estimate of 2015 general and administrative costs, the current estimate assumes approximately $9 million related to the Delta acquisition, largely offset by an estimated $7 million favorable impact of higher deferred development costs. The company’s estimate of general and administrative expenses does not reflect transition or transaction costs associated with the Delta acquisition.
Given these assumptions, 2015 diluted EPS could total $3.00 to $3.12, an 18 to 23 percent increase year-over-year, excluding Delta transition and transaction costs.
Net of interest income
The company expects investment spending in 2015 will total approximately $600 million to $800 million, including approximately $140 million for maintenance capital and approximately $135 million for the Delta transaction. Investment spending also includes other capital expenditures (including property acquisitions), new mezzanine financing and mortgage notes, contract acquisition costs, and equity and other investments. Assuming this level of investment spending, at least $1.75 billion could be returned to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.
Based upon the assumptions above, the company expects full year 2015 adjusted EBITDA will total $1,730 million to $1,780 million, a 14 to 17 percent increase over the 2014 full year adjusted EBITDA of $1,524 million. See page A-6 for the adjusted EBITDA calculation.