Marriott Vacations Worldwide (NYSE:VAC) Lifted to “Strong-Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide (NYSE:VAC) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $194.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Marriott Vacations have underperformed the industry in the past year. The company has been benefitting from strong occupancies (for most of its North America resorts) and solid contract sales. Also, focus on digitization initiatives bodes well. The company is making good progress on the technology needed to link Marriott, Westin and Sheraton products into a single points-based offering. Going forward, the company will increase the use of digital tools to strengthen its infrastructure, grow online package sales, enable self-service bookings, make real-time offerings to enhance the overall customer experience and drive back-office efficiencies. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved up in the past 30 days. However, coronavirus-related woes persist. This along with a rise in wages, general and marketing costs is a concern.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on VAC. Truist Securities increased their target price on shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide from $198.00 to $201.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 16th. Jefferies Financial Group lowered their target price on shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide from $200.00 to $190.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 28th. Truist increased their target price on shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide from $198.00 to $201.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 16th. TheStreet cut shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, December 20th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their price target on shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide from $203.00 to $208.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 10th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $199.86.

Shares of VAC stock opened at $169.75 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.23 billion, a P/E ratio of -143.85 and a beta of 2.34. The company has a current ratio of 3.05, a quick ratio of 2.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $163.53 and its 200 day moving average is $157.22. Marriott Vacations Worldwide has a 12 month low of $121.89 and a 12 month high of $190.97.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide (NYSE:VAC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Sunday, November 7th. The company reported $1.60 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.60. Marriott Vacations Worldwide had a negative net margin of 1.39% and a positive return on equity of 2.94%. The company had revenue of $1.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.81) EPS. Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s revenue was up 62.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Marriott Vacations Worldwide will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 23rd were issued a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 22nd. Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s payout ratio is -183.05%.

In related news, VP Dwight D. Smith sold 893 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.20, for a total transaction of $134,128.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, President John E. Geller, Jr. sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.00, for a total transaction of $425,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its position in Marriott Vacations Worldwide by 78.3% during the 3rd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 164 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the period. Carderock Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Marriott Vacations Worldwide during the 3rd quarter valued at $27,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in Marriott Vacations Worldwide by 7,966.7% during the 3rd quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 242 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 239 shares during the period. Liberty Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in Marriott Vacations Worldwide by 16,129.3% during the 2nd quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,000 after buying an additional 6,613 shares during the period. Finally, Maverick Capital Ltd. purchased a new stake in Marriott Vacations Worldwide during the 2nd quarter valued at $44,000. 80.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. is a global vacation company, which engages in vacation ownership, exchange, rental and resort and property management, along with related businesses, products and services. It operates through Vacation Ownership and Exchange & Third-Party Management. The Vacation Ownership segment includes develops, markets, sells, and manages vacation ownership and related products under the Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, and Hyatt Residence Club brands.

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