NEW YORK (AP) — Marriott International Inc. turned a better-than-expected profit in its fourth quarter driven by an increased number of rooms in the hotel company's portfolio and higher occupancy and room rates.
The company, based in Bethesda, Md., says it earned $181 million, or 56 cents per share, in the three-month period that ended Dec. 28. That's up from $141 million, or 41 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue in the quarter rose 2 percent to $3.76 billion. The results narrowly topped Wall Street's expectations for earnings of 55 cents per share and revenue of $3.67 billion.
Marriott's board also increased its authorization for buying back stock by an additional 25 million shares, lifting the total to 34 million shares.