Last updated: 11:43 AM ET, Thu February 16 2017

Marriott, Hilton Release Fourth Quarter 2016 Results

Hotel & Resort Patrick Clarke February 16, 2017

Marriott, Hilton Release Fourth Quarter 2016 Results

PHOTO: Marriott International saw net income increase by 21 percent during the quarter. (Photo via Flickr/Karen Bryan)

For the first time since completing its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide last fall to form the world's largest hotel company, Marriott International released its fourth quarter 2016 earnings report Wednesday.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based hotel company reported fourth-quarter net income of $244 million, a 21 percent increase from the same quarter in 2015. Meanwhile, reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was $0.62, representing a 19 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year.

With the company expanding so did revenue, climbing from $3.71 billion in the fourth quarter 2015 to $5.46 billion this previous quarter.

"Looking ahead, we’ve never been more optimistic about our long-term prospects," said Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson in a statement. "Around the globe, Marriott brands represent nearly one in four hotels under construction and one in three hotels under construction in North America."

READ MORE: The Numbers Behind Marriott's Historic 2016

"In 2017, we anticipate growing our rooms distribution by 6 percent, net, and expect that our worldwide systemwide comparable constant dollar RevPAR for the combined portfolio will increase 0.5 to 2.5 percent."

Hilton Enters the Post-Spin-Off Era

As a result of $513 million of non-cash corporate restructuring charges incurred ahead of its completed spin-offs of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations last month, Hilton Worldwide reported a diluted loss per share of $1.17 for the fourth quarter 2016.

However, when adjusted for special items, Hilton's diluted EPS for the fourth quarter exceeded projections on Wall Street, with the company reporting a figure of $0.70 for the quarter and $2.68 for the full year.

The company also approved 29,000 new rooms for development during the fourth quarter to bring its full-year total of approved rooms to a record 106,000. Hilton also added 354 hotels to its portfolio over the course of 2016 at an impressive rate of nearly one opening per day.

Looking ahead to 2017, Hilton anticipates RevPAR to increase between 1 and 3 percent and projects net income from continuing operations in the range of $555 million and $592 million.