Marriott Tempers Growth Forecast

The hotel chain is likely to report second-quarter North American RevPAR growth of roughly 2%, vs. previous guidance of 3% to 5%.
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Updated from 10 a.m. EDT

Marriott's

(MAR) - Get Report

shares fell Monday after the company reduced its room revenue guidance for its U.S. hotels.

The company's CEO, J.W. Marriott Jr., told investors at a hotel conference that the lodging operator continues to see weak weekend leisure demand in the U.S. and is beginning to see softer midweek demand as well. Group business, meanwhile, has been impacted by fewer last-minute group bookings, Marriott told the audience at the New York University International Hospitality Industry conference Monday.

Marriott said it now expects its worldwide revenue per available room (RevPAR) -- a key hotel operating metric -- in the second quarter to increase at the low end of the 3% to 5% growth range. The company said it is likely to report second-quarter North American RevPAR growth of roughly 2%, compared to prior company guidance of 3% to 5%.

Year to date through April, the company's international RevPAR was up 10%, excluding currency benefits.

Marriott did not officially update its RevPAR guidance for the full year 2008, but indicated that given recent trends, the company would be surprised if North American RevPAR strengthened in the second half of the year.

Marriott shares fell 3.1% to $31.89 in recent trading. Other lodging stocks also fell on the news, with

Starwood

(HOT)

down 5.1% to $45.93, and

Morgans Hotel

(MHGC)

falling 1.6% to $12.66.