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In this world of volatile financial markets and failing economies it's always nice to find a solid long term investment like Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR). You'll be able to sleep well while Marriott rapidly expands its business and profitability over the next few years.

Marriott International, Inc. operates, franchises, and licenses hotels and corporate housing properties worldwide. The company operates and franchises hotels and resorts under various brands. Some of the ones that you're probably most familiar with are Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, and The Ritz-Carlton. It also licenses the development, operation, marketing, and sale of vacation ownership properties under the Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and Ritz-Carlton Residences brands to the Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. In addition, the company operates Marriott Executive Apartments that provide temporary housing for business executives; and Marriott conference centers. As of December 30, 2011, it operated, franchised, or licensed 3,718 lodging properties with 643,196 rooms that include 32 home and condominium products with 3,838 units, as well as provided 2,166 furnished corporate housing rental units. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

There are a number of compelling reasons to initiate a long position in Marriott International. One of the main reasons is their aggressive expansion plans:

  • Marriott International intends to increase its presence in the Caribbean and Latin America. By 2017, Marriott International envisions its portfolio in the region rising to over 140 hotels and 30,000 rooms either opened or in the development pipeline. That's double the current number of hotels they have in the region today.

  • According to a recent interview with Bill Marriott the company plans to open 150 new hotels in the U.S. this year and hire an additional 10,000 employees.

  • The company also plans to double their number of current hotels (54) in China during this same time frame.

In addition to the expansion plans:

  • The consensus earnings per share estimates for Marriott International by the 27 analysts that follow the company are $1.65 in 2012, $2.01 for 2013 and $2.36 for 2014.
  • Revenues for 2012 are forecast to be $11.84 billion dollars and for 2013 are predicted to grow to $12.8 billion dollars.
  • The company also currently pays a 1.40% dividend.
  • The stock has a strong chart and has held up well during the market volatility of the past 3 months.

Conclusion: If you're looking for a solid long term investment that should provide steady stock price appreciation while avoiding the volatile swings of the markets you should check out Marriott International.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in MAR over the next 72 hours.