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Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels is one of the largest global hotel franchisors. At 2Q18, the company portfolio was comprised of a total 6,883 hotels representing ~557,000 rooms. Additionally, there were 950 hotels in the pipeline, a 32% increase YoY. The company operates solely as a franchiser of hotels. In the US this is done through direct franchising. International is a combination of direct and master franchising agreements. CHH brands include Comfort Inn and Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Mainstay Suites, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Cambria Suites, Ascend, and WoodSpring. CHH brands are primarily lower-tier chain scales. Royalty fees accounted for 81% of total revenue in 2Q18 when excluding Marketing and Reservation revenue. Members of the Bainum family hold a ~35% stake in CHH. (02 Oct 2018)

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US Employment: Modest Gains for Jobs & Wages

Sector Analysis: 09 Dec 2018, 9:01 PM ET - Payrolls and wages both took a step back in November.  We highlight this months employment data and discuss the possibility for manufacturing, construction, and mining employment to lead a 2019 deceleration in jobs growth.

US Income & Spending: Strong Start to 4Q Spending

Strategy Analysis: 30 Nov 2018, 4:37 AM ET - October consumer data delivered above expectations with strong real spending, solid income, and soft inflation.  We dig into the details and highlight strong growth in discretionary spending categories.

Consumer Pulse: Holiday Sales Update & More

Sector Analysis: 28 Nov 2018, 4:11 AM ET - Consumer holiday spending viewed through the e-commerce lens looks to be off to a strong start. The consumer economy has a mix of puts and takes, ranging from rising mortgage rates to falling prices at the pump.

Choice Hotels: 3Q18 - Uncomfortable RevPAR Decline

Worth Watching: 14 Nov 2018, 2:22 PM ET - Choice Hotels (Sr Unsec: Baa3/BB+) reported 3Q18 revenues of $291mn, up 8% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA rose 21% during the quarter to $115mn. Hotel franchising revenue rose 9% YoY to $135.4mn, driven by an 8% increase in domestic royalty fees to $105m ..

US Employment: Almost Full, Keeps Eating

Strategy Analysis: 05 Nov 2018, 5:16 AM ET - Employment growth bounced back in October with a strong 250k print.  Wage growth hit a new high, but its gradual acceleration coupled with the strong job growth trend makes us question what full employment looks like.

US Productivity Is A Small Offset To Labor Costs

Sovereign Analysis: 02 Nov 2018, 5:38 AM ET - We break down 2 separate pieces of 3Q economic data that show while labor costs continue to rise, controlling for productivity growth gives a rosier picture. 

PCE Deflator: Steady in September

Worth Watching: 29 Oct 2018, 10:19 PM ET - PCE Deflator: The September income & outlays report showed another mild month for consumer price gains. The headline all-items index increased by 0.1% MoM, bringing the YoY rate to 2.0%, down from its July peak of 2.3%. The core PCE deflator (e ..

US GDP: Consumers Show Up Again

Strategy Analysis: 29 Oct 2018, 5:06 AM ET - 3Q US GDP beat expectations with a strong performance by the US consumer, inventory growth, and government spending offsetting weak trade, residential investment, and capex.

US Inflation: Consumer Prices Eke Out Another Gain

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 10:35 PM ET - The September consumer price index report showed weaker price gains than expected for the second consecutive month. 

US Strategy: What to Watch for on 3Q Earning Calls

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 4:37 AM ET - We surveyed our analyst teams for key sector level issues they will be paying close attention to with upcoming third quarter earnings calls beyond the typical sales, margins and earnings guidance. 

US Employment: 3.0% Wage Growth on the Horizon

Strategy Analysis: 05 Oct 2018, 12:24 PM ET - September nonfarm payrolls disappointed on the headline number, but under the surface, the report was solid.  Wages posted another strong gain and are just one tick away from the 3.0% YoY milestone.

US Income & Spending: Consumption Stays On Track

Strategy Analysis: 01 Oct 2018, 6:11 AM ET - The August income & spending report contained another solid reading for consumer spending, continued income growth, and modest inflation. We dig into the pricing environment for a few discretionary spending categories.

US Employment: Finally, A Wage Growth Surprise

Strategy Analysis: 07 Sep 2018, 4:06 PM ET - The August employment report contained the long-awaited breakout in wage growth to a new cycle high. Payroll growth was also solid, and we highlight our outlook for it going forward.

August 2018 US Company Recommendation Changes

US Company Recommendation Changes: 02 Sep 2018, 9:49 PM ET - Our monthly report provides executive summaries for the thirty company recommendation changes made on North American companies during the month of August.

US Income & Spending: Inflation Momentum Fading?

Strategy Analysis: 30 Aug 2018, 2:43 PM ET - July consumer spending and income increased largely as expected, providing a solid start to 3Q spending. The core PCE deflator hit the Fed’s 2.0% target. We highlight that the recent inflation data have cooled some from earlier this year.

Choice Hotels: Positive S&P Outlook - Move to M/P

Worth Watching: 21 Aug 2018, 5:21 PM ET - Choice Hotels (Baa3/BB+) had its senior unsecured BB+ rating from S&P placed on a positive outlook from stable, six years after downgrading the credit for its dividend recap. S&P will resolve its CreditWatch on CHH in the next few months. The agen ..

Choice Hotels: 2Q18 - Extended Stay Gains

Worth Watching: 08 Aug 2018, 10:21 PM ET - Choice Hotels (Sr Unsec: Baa3/BB+) reported 2Q18 revenues of $295mn, up 13.2% YoY, and adjusted EBITDA of $113mn, up 27.7%. Hotel franchising revenue growth of 14%, to $134.8mn, was driven by a 13% increase in domestic royalty fees, to $97.6mn. ..

Consumer/Pharma: Cross-Sector Rel Val Analysis

Sector Analysis: 19 Jul 2018, 4:27 AM ET - In this report, we juxtapose OAS and leverage levels across on-the-run non-cyclical credits in the F&B and Pharma space. M&A has elevated leverage for several names, so we aim to help investors find the best spread while managing risk.

July Beige Book: Tariffs Front & Center

Sector Analysis: 19 Jul 2018, 4:26 AM ET - We parse the July Beige Book for anecdotes on the impact of tariffs. It’s clear they’re contributing to rising input costs across the US.

F&B: M&A Elevates BBB Leverage Late in the Cycle

Sector Analysis: 27 Jun 2018, 4:37 AM ET - This piece looks at the implications of elevated leverage among BBB US F&B credits this late in the cycle, as well as the implications of cost inflation when companies are facing limited pricing power and possibly peak margins.

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