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Sector Snap: Hotels

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of hotel companies rose Tuesday, boosted by Marriott‘s strong growth projections and global expansion plan.

Marriott said late Monday that its 2014 profit could total between $2.45 and $2.85 per share. Analysts, on average, forecast a profit of $2.41 per share for the year.

Marriott’s projection is based on its belief that revenue per available room, a key measure of hotel rates, will rise about 6 to 8 percent across the globe over the next two years That could translate into strong earnings growth. Marriott now expects to earn about double its adjusted earnings last year.

It announced the prediction at a meeting in China Tuesday. Marriott International Inc., which is based in Bethesda, Md., plans to have 4,000 hotels in 90 countries across its 14 brands within two years. Much of the growth will be in China, where the company expects to have 100 hotels by 2014, doubling its current number.

U.S. hotel companies have been rapidly expanding in China over the last several years, taking advantage of a rapidly growing middle class.

Marriott shares rose $1.22, or 3.2 percent, to reach $39.60 in afternoon trading. Hyatt Hotels Corp. rose $1.13, or 3.2 percent, to $36.56. Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide Inc. rose 3.3 percent, or $1.68, to $52.90.

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