Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Choice Hotels International (CHH) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $86.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Choice Hotels’ shares have outperformed the industry over the past year. The company’s enthralling growth trajectory is likely to continue after it reported better-than-expected earnings in the third quarter of 2018. The company also raised its 2018 earnings guidance. By enhancement of mid-scale brand and the acquisition of WoodSpring , as well as the transformation of the Comfort and Cambria brand, Choice Hotels is poised for growth. Earnings estimates for 2018 have been revised upward over the past 30 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism surrounding the company’s future earnings potential. However, high cost of operations and competition remain concerns. Total operating expenses in the first nine months of 2018 increased 7% year over year. Also, the hospitality industry is cyclical and a worsening of global economic conditions might in turn dent Choice Hotels’ revenues and profits.”

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine raised Choice Hotels International from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, September 22nd. TheStreet raised Choice Hotels International from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Friday, September 28th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a hold rating on shares of Choice Hotels International in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Longbow Research started coverage on Choice Hotels International in a report on Friday, September 7th. They set a buy rating and a $95.00 price target on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on Choice Hotels International to $71.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $82.00.

NYSE CHH opened at $77.45 on Wednesday. Choice Hotels International has a 52-week low of $69.06 and a 52-week high of $85.35. The stock has a market cap of $4.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.89, a P/E/G ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.06.

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.08. Choice Hotels International had a negative return on equity of 98.61% and a net margin of 17.26%. The firm had revenue of $291.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $321.69 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Choice Hotels International will post 3.85 EPS for the current year.

In other Choice Hotels International news, insider Patrick Cimerola sold 5,180 shares of Choice Hotels International stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.05, for a total value of $430,199.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 26,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,160,047.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Patrick Pacious sold 35,350 shares of Choice Hotels International stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.33, for a total value of $2,910,365.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 139,498 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,484,870.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,323 shares of company stock worth $4,553,317 in the last ninety days. 22.01% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Choice Hotels International by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,924,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $243,638,000 after purchasing an additional 50,729 shares in the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C lifted its position in shares of Choice Hotels International by 124.6% during the 3rd quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 1,819,385 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,555,000 after acquiring an additional 1,009,194 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Choice Hotels International by 13.1% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,587,731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,032,000 after acquiring an additional 183,553 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of Choice Hotels International by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,553,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,422,000 after acquiring an additional 86,700 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Choice Hotels International by 16.8% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,065,468 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,754,000 after acquiring an additional 153,573 shares during the period. 57.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Choice Hotels International Company Profile

Choice Hotels International, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a hotel franchisor worldwide. It operates through Hotel Franchising and SkyTouch Technology segments. The company franchises lodging properties under the brand names of Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Cambria hotels & suites, and Ascend Hotel Collection.

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