Citadel Investment Group Increases Stake in Marriott Vacations


Citadel Investment Group L.L.C, a hedge fund management firm, has increased its holding in Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:VAC), only days after one of its subsidiaries, Citadel Advisors L.L.C, upped its stake in Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE:KOG), to 5.74% as reported in one of our posts.

The latest additional shares, which now bring the total of shares held by the company in Marriott to 1,714,349 or 5% of the Marriott’s share capital, was announced today in SEC, form 13G.

Marriott engages in the development, marketing, sale, and management of vacation ownership and related products in the United States. The company has over 200 institutional investors, holding approximately 63% of the share capital, and 85% of the floated shares.

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Its major holders include North run Capital LP with 1,508,300 shares or 4.4%, and Vanguard Group, Inc, LLC with 1,494,421 shares or 4.36%, as of March 30th 2012. Citadel now joins the list of Major holders in the vacations planning and marketing firm, with its 5% stake.

Marriott has a market capitalization of just under the $1 billion mark, with $992.49 million intraday valuation, and according to the latest statistics, the company’s profitability margins are not as impressive. It has a profit margin of -14.71% and an operating margin of -14.63%, for the trailing, twelve months period, despite reporting $1.28 billion in revenues for the same period.

Nonetheless, with a current ratio of approximately 4.00, it is clear that the company’s financial position is very stable. Additionally, the company reported a total of $77 million in cash for the most recent quarter, which is equivalent to $2.25 cash per share. The current market price of Marriott’s stock of approximately $29.00 will be seen as an underpricing,  if compared to the Book value of around $33 per share for the most recent quarter results.

As of June 29th 2012, 3.33 million shares had attracted short transactions, which is approximately 7.60%. On May 16th 2012, the company’s stock traded at almost its book value of $33.64 per share,  when it recorded a new 52 week high of 33.64.

While the company’s income statement may not be very impressive, Citadel may have wrapped a deal which might prove a bargain in the long run.