Marriott CEO on travel: 'It's going to be a blockbuster summer'

Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano sees the summer travel season shaping up to be quite strong as the world emerges from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think it's going to be a blockbuster summer," Capuano said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "I was in Europe just last week and our teams are ready. When they look at the forward bookings going into that peak summer travel season, we think it's going to be a terrific travel season for us."

Marriott's (MAR) shares rose as much as 2% on Wednesday. Marriott shares are up 6% so far in 2022, outperforming the S&P 500's 12% drop. Hilton (HLT) and Hyatt (H) are down 7% and 9%, respectively.

To be sure, Marriott's first quarter results released on Wednesday sent a strong positive signal on future demand.

Marriott's first quarter systemwide revenue per available room (RevPar) rose 96.5% from a year ago. Average daily rates worldwide surged 36%. Adjusted earnings clocked in at $1.25 a share, hammering analyst estimates for $0.90.

The company reinstated its dividend and signaled it may soon resume stock buybacks. Marriott had suspended each cash return program early on in the pandemic.

"We are reminding investors of our commitment to getting our ratios back, our debt ratios between 3% and 3.5%," Capuano said. "We are demonstrating confidence in the progress we have made in the pursuit of that objective. And I think the reinstatement of the dividend really speaks to our confidence about the continued and sustained recovery of travel around the world."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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