Business Overview of Marriott Corporation

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Harvard Business School 9-282-042 Rev. September 15, 1986 Marriott Corporation The idea of repurchasing shares was no stranger to Bill Marriott by January 1980. Almost five million shares of common stock had been repurchased on the open market by Marriott Corporation during 1979 at a total cost of $74 million and an average price of $15.16 in the belief that they were undervalued—a belief that still was not fully reflected in the market price. At $19 5/8, the stock was selling at only six times cash flow per share; and its price/earnings ratio of nine was a far cry from historical multiples as high as fifty times as recently as 1973. Its low price seemed to offer once again an obvious opportunity to benefit shareholders. However,…show more content…
By 1980, more than 23,000 rooms were offered through 55 hotels and resorts located primarily in the U.S. Approximately 70% of company-operated rooms were owned by outside investors and managed by Marriott under agreements averaging 70 years in length. These management agreements contributed approximately $40 million to operating profits in 1979—profits that tended to rise with inflation. Contract Food Service (32% of sales)—Marriott operated almost 300 contract food units, providing a wide range of food service capabilities to a variety of clients. It was the world 's leading supplier of catering services to airlines, with 62 flight kitchens serving domestic and international air travelers. The Food Service Management Division also managed restaurants, cafeterias, conference centers and other facilities for over 200 clients, including business, health care, and educational institutions. Restaurants (25% of sales)—Marriott 's Restaurant Group consisted of 476 company-owned units offering a variety of popularly priced food in 46 states. Roy Rogers fast food restaurants and Big Boy coffee shops accounted for 92% of the total units. Theme Parks and Cruise Ships (8% of sales)—The two Great America theme parks, located in Gurnee, Illinois, between Chicago and, Milwaukee, and in Santa Clara, California, were opened in 1976. Both parks combined a wide variety of thrill and

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