Choice Hotels Int.'l (CHH) - Get Report stock rose $4.75, or 8%, to $62.60 in Thursday morning trading after the Rockville, Md.-based hotel franchisor posted 2016 fourth quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations.

Choice posted fourth quarter earnings of 56 cents per diluted share, higher than last year's earnings of 51 cents per diluted share. Analysts expected Choice to report fourth quarter earnings of 53 cents a share.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported revenue of $208.9 million, lower than Wall Street's expectations of $224.5 million and last year's revenue of $211 million.

For the full year, Choice reported earnings of $2.46 per diluted share on $924.64 million in revenue.

Choice, with more than 6,400 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories, said it approved 267 new franchised hotels for development in the fourth quarter, bringing full-year new agreements to 645 hotels.

"There are many contributing factors to our success highlighted by our efforts to deliver new strategic programs and tools designed to increase reservation delivery to our franchisees, the acceleration of our growth and performance in the upscale category, and our strong development momentum," Choice CEO Stephen Joyce said.

Adjusted EBITDA from hotel franchising activities for the fourth quarter increased 8% to $273.3 million, according to the company.

Looking ahead, Choice said it expects 2017 full-year earnings to range between $2.78 and $2.84 per diluted share. It said its expects it first quarter earnings to be "at least" 49 cents a share.