Marriott Earnings: Reservation for Profits?

(Marriott earnings report updated with results.)
BETHESDA, Md. ( TheStreet) -- Marriott International ( MAR) reported a 21.7% jump in quarterly profit but results missed expectations as travel demand in North America slowed.

Marriott said late Wednesday that its first-quarter profit jumped to $101 million, or 26 cents per share, missing expectations by a penny.

Worldwide revPAR -- or revenue per available room, a key metric in the hotel industry that multiplies a property's room rate by its occupancy rate -- rose 6.5%, below the 7% Marriott had forecast last month. North American revPAR rose 5.8% while international revPAR grew 11.2%.

The hotelier attributed to the profit miss to a slowdown in group bookings in the Washington area, where around 5% of its rooms are located.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Patrick Scholes said Marriott's results were also hampered by increased competition from other hotel operators' updated properties.

Total revenue rose 5.6% to $2.78 billion, short of the $2.86 billion analysts had been looking for.

Despite the top- and bottom-line miss, Marriott shares were 0.9% higher Thursday morning at $35.58.

In late March, Marriott warned of softer-than-expected demand in North American markets, leading hotel stocks lower the day it made the announcement.

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