Marriott International

(MAR) - Get Report

, the largest hotel operator in the U.S., managed to narrow its losses in the fourth quarter despite the continued slowdown in the industry.

Marriott lost $37 million, or 16 cents a share, for the quarter ending Jan. 3, compared with a loss of $116 million, or 48 cents a share, last year.

For full year 2002 results, the company was able to increase earnings by 17% to $277 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with $236 million, or 92 cents a share, last year.

The company predicted earnings could fall to $1.85 to $1.95 in 2003, down from its original forecast of $2.05 to $2.15 per share, "without factoring in the impact of any possible conflict in Iraq."

The stock rose $1.19, or 4%, to $30.54 Monday.