The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Honeywell International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International,

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Honeywell International, Starwood Hotels &
 Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group and
                         Choice Hotels International

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 1, 2013

CHICAGO, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Honeywell International Inc
(NYSE:HON), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT), Marriott
International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) and
Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE:CHH).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Honeywell Seeks More Fuel Efficiency

Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:HON) recently announced its intention to
offer more turbocharged diesel powered vehicles to the US customers.
Turbocharged vehicles are more fuel efficient than gasoline vehicles. With the
recent surge in fuel prices, auto manufacturers are focused on building cars
that are more fuel efficient and appealing to its customers. Turbochargers
enable manufacturers to shrink engine size and weight while maintaining
driving experience. 2014 Versions of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Chevrolet
Cruze and Mazda 6 are some of the vehicles benefiting from Honeywell
turbochargers.

The turbo technology is well suited to meet the needs of the car segment in
emerging markets. As per the recent industry projections, sales of passenger
cars with turbocharged diesel engines are expected to witness a growth of 22%
in the next five years. Sale of clean diesel passenger cars in North America
was up more than 25% in 2012 and has been continuously increasing since then.
Honeywell possesses the best R&D turbo resources, the widest product portfolio
of any turbo supplier and an experienced engineering network. Consequently,
Honeywell expects turbo diesel growth of 3% to 4 % by 2018.

In Europe, turbo charged vehicles are already in great demand. With
turbocharged gasoline engines and turbo diesel engines representing 75% of the
vehicles in Europe, Honeywell continues to maintain its position as the global
turbo leader with 100 new turbo launches annually and around 500 applications
in its production pipeline.

Starwood to Revamp Middle East, Africa Properties

As part of its continued brand revitalization strategy, Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) plans to revamp its 13 Le Meridien hotels in
the Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions. The refurbishment will cost
approximately $200 million and will be completed in three years.

Acquired in Nov 2005, the French brand – Le Meridien rides on a high growth
vehicle and already has a global presence with nearly 100 hotels in more than
40 countries. Well known for its upscale hospitality, management sees the
brand as a lucrative addition to its luxury hotels. The brand has considerable
presence in emerging Middle Eastern and African markets for more than 30
years.

Apart from renovations, Le Meridien will include another property to its
already four-propertied portfolio in Egypt. This new hotel – Le Meridien Cairo
Airport – is slated to open in Sep 2013. The emergence of the MEA region as an
international business hub as well as leisure travel destination encourages
Starwood to focus on this region.

Hotel companies across the globe have been diligently working on their
properties over the last couple of years to augment guest satisfaction to
raise their positions in a cutthroat environment. Hence, brand conversion and
remodeling has become a trend today.

Many of Starwood's peers like Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) and
InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) are also resorting to the renovation
strategy. Though renovation work affects near-term revenues, it boosts returns
once completed.

Starwood is comprehensively working on its assets to offer an enhanced travel
experience to its guests and is primarily considering renovation of older
properties operating in dynamic markets.

Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Choice Hotels International
Inc. (NYSE:CHH) looks attractive at current levels with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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