Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE:CHH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning. The firm currently has $61.00 price objective on the stock.

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 equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. MKM Partners upgraded shares of Choice Hotels International from a sell rating to a neutral rating and raised their price objective for the company from $42.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Monday, December 5th. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and issued a $47.00 price objective (down previously from $48.00) on shares of Choice Hotels International in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. upgraded shares of Choice Hotels International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $52.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH)

Shares of Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) opened at 54.45 on Monday. Choice Hotels International has a 52-week low of $41.17 and a 52-week high of $57.38. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $54.78 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.57 and a beta of 0.99.

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

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: “Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research” was first posted by Financial Market News and is the sole property of of Financial Market News. If you are reading this report on another publication, it was stolen and reposted in violation of United States & international trademark & copyright legislation. The legal version of this report can be accessed at http://www.financial-market-news.com/choice-hotels-international-inc-chh-stock-rating-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research/1270543/.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 18th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 4th were given a dividend of $0.215 per share. This represents a $0.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. This is an increase from Choice Hotels International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 30th. Choice Hotels International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.13%.

In other news, CEO Stephen P. Joyce sold 2,600 shares of Choice Hotels International stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $130,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 161,349 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,067,450. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen P. Joyce sold 7,999 shares of Choice Hotels International stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.10, for a total transaction of $400,749.90. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 166,748 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,354,074.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 406,288 shares of company stock valued at $21,518,463. Insiders own 22.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CHH. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Choice Hotels International by 6.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,339,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,418,000 after buying an additional 133,298 shares during the last quarter. Echo Street Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Choice Hotels International by 51.8% in the third quarter. Echo Street Capital Management LLC now owns 1,325,207 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,740,000 after buying an additional 452,141 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in Choice Hotels International by 33.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,134,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,129,000 after buying an additional 282,948 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Choice Hotels International by 12.4% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 858,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,874,000 after buying an additional 95,036 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C increased its stake in Choice Hotels International by 6.5% in the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 762,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,324,000 after buying an additional 46,847 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 48.68% of the company’s stock.

About Choice Hotels International

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CHH

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Choice Hotels International (CHH)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Choice Hotels International Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Choice Hotels International Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.