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Sector Snap: Some Lodging Price Targets Raised

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ A Goldman Sachs analyst boosted the price targets of some lodging companies Tuesday, citing slowing supply growth and an uptick in demand.

Many lodging operators saw declining demand during the recession as consumers looked to trim costs and held back on booking trips or took shorter vacations. Supply growth also began to wane during the economic downturn, as hotels looked for ways to reduce expenses and avoid oversupply.

Signs of an economic recovery on the horizon bodes well for the industry, according to analyst Steven Kent.

"As we go further out in time we expect increased economic activity to ultimately result in more travel, which will boost occupancy and rate thereafter," he wrote in a client note.

Kent increased Marriott International Inc.'s price target to $33 from $27.79 and lifted Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. to $43 from $35. He raised the price target of Choice Hotels International Inc. to $36 from $32. Among the other price target increases included those for Gaylord Entertainment Co., Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Interval Leisure Group Inc., Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

Marriott's stock gained 76 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $27.48 in morning trading, while shares of Starwood rose 84 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $32.61. Choice Hotels' stock climbed 71 cents, or 2.53 percent, to $31.48.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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