Choice Hotels International (CHH) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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 first quarter of 2019. Earnings not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also grew 25% year over year, driven by its core franchising operations. Revenues, too, increased from the year-ago quarter on higher revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth. Following the results, the company provided bullish earnings guidance for 2019. By the continuous enhancement of mid-scale brand and the acquisition of WoodSpring brand, as well as the transformation and advancement of the Comfort and Cambria brand, Choice Hotels is poised for growth. However, high cost of operations and intense competition remain concerns.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CHH. Deutsche Bank restated a hold rating and issued a $76.00 price objective on shares of Choice Hotels International in a research note on Sunday, February 17th. SunTrust Banks increased their price objective on shares of Choice Hotels International from $80.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $82.88.

NYSE:CHH traded down $0.36 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $84.21. 8,608 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 317,526. The stock has a market cap of $4.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.72, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.10. Choice Hotels International has a twelve month low of $66.71 and a twelve month high of $87.25.

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $218.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $221.84 million. Choice Hotels International had a net margin of 21.08% and a negative return on equity of 124.30%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Choice Hotels International will post 4.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 2nd will be paid a $0.215 dividend. This represents a $0.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.02%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, July 1st. Choice Hotels International’s dividend payout ratio is 22.11%.

In other news, insider John Bonds sold 5,102 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.01, for a total value of $418,415.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Patrick Cimerola sold 6,410 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.72, for a total transaction of $498,185.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,216 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,338,027.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 19,167 shares of company stock valued at $1,527,163. Corporate insiders own 24.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CHH. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Choice Hotels International in the 1st quarter worth about $26,000. Enlightenment Research LLC bought a new stake in shares of Choice Hotels International in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its holdings in shares of Choice Hotels International by 85.7% in the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 531 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,000 after purchasing an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Choice Hotels International in the 1st quarter worth about $76,000. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Choice Hotels International by 12.4% in the 1st quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,349 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 149 shares during the last quarter. 59.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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 Corporate & Other segments. The company franchises lodging properties under the brand names of Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Clarion Pointe, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, WoodSpring Suites, Cambria Hotels, V8 Hotel Köln @Motorworld, Quality Hotel Ostrava, Hotel Aquarius Venice, and Ascend Hotel Collection.

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