Marriott declares dividend, ups stock repurchase ability

Marriott International on Friday announced it has increased its authorization to repurchase an additional 25 million Class A common stock shares to 34.4 million. It also declared a quarterly cash dividend of US$0.17 per share payable on March 28 to shareholders of record on February 28, 2014. 

In 2013, the company repurchased 20 million shares for US$829 million, including 4.4 million shares for US$200 million in the fourth quarter.  Combined with cash dividends of US$196 million paid in 2013, the company returned over US$1 billion in cash to shareholders.

To date in 2014, Marriott has repurchased nearly 4.9 million shares for approximately US$238 million.

Analyst R.W. Baird suggested in its note that a portion of the recent repurchases was likely funded with US$62 million of proceeds from the sale of the leasehold interest in the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel. It expects Marriott to remain committed to returning capital to shareholders via share repurchases and common stock dividends.