Marriott Tumbles on Soft Outlook

BETHESDA, Md. ( TheStreet) -- Marriott International ( MAR) shares tumbled Monday morning, dragging other hotel stocks with it, after the hotelier's CFO said North American demand was below expectations.

Marriott CFO Carl Berquist, speaking at the J.P. Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum in Las Vegas Monday, said demand in international markets has been strong but that North American revPAR -- or revenue per available room, a key metric in the hotel industry that multiplies a property's room rate by its occupancy rate -- has been less robust than expected, especially in large group hotels in key cities like New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

Those cautionary words led investors to bid Marriott shares 7.1% lower to $35.00 in morning trading Monday. The rest of the hotel sector was also sharply lower.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ( HOT) lost 4.2% to $2.49, Wyndham Worldwide ( WYN) fell 3.1% to $30.82 and Hyatt ( H) shed 4.4% to $42.17.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Services ( IYC), an exchange-traded fund that counts all four stocks among its holdings, traded near the unchanged mark at $70.14. The Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ( VCR) ETF added less than 0.1% to $62.67.

Marriott's Berquist said he expects current quarter North American systemwide revPAR growth of 5% to 6%. Worldwide revPAR this quarter should increase by around 7%, at the bottom end of its guidance for growth of 7% to 9%.

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