Choice Hotels International (CHH) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday, January 4th.

According to Zacks, “Choice Hotels Int’l. is one of the largest hotel franchise companies in the world with hotels, inns, all-suite hotels and resorts open and under development in countries across the globe under the brand names Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Rodeway Inn, Econo Lodge and MainStay Suites. “

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Choice Hotels International from a neutral rating to an underweight rating and set a $72.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and set a $71.00 price target on shares of Choice Hotels International in a report on Friday, November 10th. Barclays raised their price target on shares of Choice Hotels International from $60.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Choice Hotels International from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Choice Hotels International has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $69.13.

Choice Hotels International (CHH) traded up $0.50 on Thursday, hitting $79.75. 227,200 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 244,462. The firm has a market cap of $4,510.00, a P/E ratio of 29.54, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.99, a quick ratio of 1.67 and a current ratio of 1.67. Choice Hotels International has a 52-week low of $53.40 and a 52-week high of $80.55.

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $295.09 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $288.50 million. Choice Hotels International had a net margin of 15.66% and a negative return on equity of 60.41%. Choice Hotels International’s quarterly revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.84 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Choice Hotels International will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 17th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.215 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 29th. This represents a $0.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. Choice Hotels International’s payout ratio is currently 31.85%.

In other Choice Hotels International news, major shareholder Bruce Bainum sold 250,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.05, for a total value of $18,512,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Patrick Pacious sold 11,149 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.78, for a total transaction of $844,871.22. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 124,073 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,402,251.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 22.01% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CHH. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in shares of Choice Hotels International by 10.8% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,611 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in shares of Choice Hotels International by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 106 shares in the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new stake in shares of Choice Hotels International in the 2nd quarter valued at $108,000. New York State Teachers Retirement System acquired a new stake in shares of Choice Hotels International in the 3rd quarter valued at $192,000. Finally, Magnetar Financial LLC acquired a new stake in Choice Hotels International during the 3rd quarter worth $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 50.76% of the company’s stock.

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Choice Hotels International Company Profile

Choice Hotels International, Inc is a hotel franchisor. The Company’s segments include Hotel Franchising, SkyTouch Technology and Corporate & Other. It franchises lodging properties under brand names, including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Cambria hotels & suites, and Ascend Hotel Collection.

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