Shares never trailed the market during the year, but the rally was particularly strong in the closing weeks of 2019.
As a consumer discretionary stock, the timeshare giant's fortunes are tied to global economic growth, and that picture was strong through the year. Yet Marriott made its own luck in 2019, too, with property acquisitions and organic growth combining to push revenue up to $3.2 billion during the first three quarter of the year compared to $1.9 billion in the year-ago period. The business is becoming more efficient as it grows, too, with adjusted third-quarter earnings rising 18%. That positive news helped lift shares in the final weeks of the year.
Marriott is one of the timeshare industry's biggest players, so it benefits disproportionately from the steady growth that's occurred over the past five years. A global economic downturn would jeopardize some of those gains, but investors aren't worried about that scenario right now. Instead, they're expecting Marriott to post a 10% sales increase when it announces fourth-quarter results sometime in early February.