Choice Reports Largest Domestic Pipeline in Company History

ROCKVILLE, MD—Choice Hotels International Inc. has its largest domestic pipeline in company, according to its reported results for the three months and year ended Dec. 31, 2018.

Highlights include:

  • Net income was $31.5 million for the fourth quarter 2018 and $216.4 million for the full year, representing diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.56 and $3.80, respectively.
  • Adjusted net income increased 34% in 2018 to $221.5 million over the prior year.
  • The company’s full year adjusted EPS increased 34% from the prior full year period to $3.89, while full year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased 14% from 2017 to $341 million.
  • The company exceeded the top end of its full year adjusted EBITDA guidance by $1 million and the top end of its fourth quarter and full year adjusted EPS guidance by $0.03 per share.
  • The company repurchased 1.9 million shares of common stock for an aggregate cost of $149 million for the full year 2018.
  • The company awarded 756 new domestic franchise contracts, making 2018 the company’s best development year in over a decade.
  • Total domestic pipeline of hotels awaiting conversion, under construction, or approved for development, as of Dec. 31, 2018 surpassed 1,000 hotels, representing the largest domestic pipeline in the company’s history.

Additionally, during 2018, the company:

  • Achieved a 14% growth in the number of rooms in the company’s upscale brands, Cambria and Ascend as of Dec. 31, 2018 from December 31, 2017.
  • Further strengthened its midscale presence by unveiling and awarding 21 domestic franchise agreements for Clarion Pointe, a midscale select-service brand extension of Clarion that meets strong demand from guests and hotel owners alike.
  • Awarded 161 new franchise agreements across the company’s extended stay portfolio of brands following the acquisition of WoodSpring Suites, the nation’s fastest-growing economy hotel brand.
  • Continued the $2.5 billion transformation of its flagship Comfort brand, which is progressing on schedule.

“Our strong 2018 performance represents more than a singular good year—it builds on years of success and validates our long-term focus,” said Patrick Pacious, president/CEO of Choice Hotels. “As Choice celebrates 80 years in business, these impressive results are proof that investing in our current brands, launching new brands, and further enhancing our business-delivery capabilities have provided a runway for long-term growth.”

Additional details for the company’s 2018 fourth quarter and full year results are as follows:

  • Total revenues for the fourth quarter and full year 2018 were $245 million and $1 billion, respectively, an increase of 11% from the total revenues reported for the same periods of 2017.
  • Total hotel franchising revenues for full year 2018 increased 12% from the prior year to $483.4 million and increased 13% from the fourth quarter of the prior year to $114.5 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA from hotel franchising activities for the full year was $346.6 million, a 14% increase from full year 2017. Adjusted EBITDA from hotel franchising activities for the fourth quarter was $77.5 million, a 12% increase from the fourth quarter of the prior year.
  • Adjusted EPS increased 29% in fourth quarter 2018 to $0.88 over the prior year fourth quarter.