Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE:CHH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $58.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.73% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Separately, Morgan Stanley raised shares of Choice Hotels International from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $47.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Choice Hotels International presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH)

Shares of Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) opened at 51.45 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.05 and a 200-day moving average of $47.39. The stock has a market cap of $2.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.33 and a beta of 0.97. Choice Hotels International has a 52-week low of $40.78 and a 52-week high of $54.32.

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. Choice Hotels International had a net margin of 14.58% and a negative return on equity of 36.59%. The company earned $267.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $252.77 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.72 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Choice Hotels International will post $2.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CEO Stephen P. Joyce sold 32,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.09, for a total transaction of $1,442,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 180,548 shares in the company, valued at $8,140,909.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen P. Joyce sold 21,401 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.18, for a total transaction of $1,073,902.18. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 180,150 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,039,927. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 22.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Choice Hotels International by 39.1% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 731 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Choice Hotels International during the second quarter valued at $119,000. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Choice Hotels International by 26.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 3,016 shares of the company’s stock valued at $143,000 after buying an additional 625 shares during the period. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its position in Choice Hotels International by 1.2% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 3,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $162,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Finally, Huntington National Bank boosted its position in Choice Hotels International by 35.8% in the third quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 4,001 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 1,055 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 48.69% of the company’s stock.

Choice Hotels International Company Profile

Choice Hotels International, Inc (Choice) is a hotel franchisor. The Company operates in two segments: hotel franchising business and SkyTouch Technology (SkyTouch). It operates approximately 6,420 hotels open and over 720 hotels under construction, representing approximately 507,480 rooms open and over 58,130 rooms under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in approximately 50 states, the District of Columbia and over 35 countries and territories outside the United States.

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