Marriott to switch to Nasdaq stock market -- Gazette.Net


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Bethesda hotel giant Marriott International is taking its stock to a less costly — if somewhat less prestigious — exchange.

Starting Oct. 21, Marriott will be listed in the Nasdaq Stock Market, rather than the New York Stock Exchange.

While Nasdaq has about 800 more member companies than NYSE, the latter’s market capitalization — or total dollar value of all companies’ listed shares — at $16.6 trillion far exceeds Nasdaq’s $4.5 trillion.

Marriott will join tech companies Google, Apple and Microsoft, along with online retailers Amazon and eBay.

The NYSE’s membership includes many of the Fortune 100 companies, including Walmart, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola and General Motors. Rockville-based Choice Hotels also trades on the NYSE, as does Hyatt Hotels.

The move will provide Marriott with “cost-effective visibility” and “efficient access to a portfolio of tools and opportunities to reach investors,” company CFO Carl Berquist said in a statement. The company will continue trading its shares on the Chicago Stock Exchange, as well.

“While we are looking forward to our new relationship with Nasdaq, the NYSE was our listing home for many years, and they have served us well over that time,” Berquist said.

Felicia McLemore, a Marriott spokeswoman, said the decision “was based on cost,” but the company had not identified exactly how much it would save. For companies of Marriott’s size, the fee caps for Nasdaq are $100,000, compared with $500,000 for NYSE.

Marriott, which has a market cap of $12.7 billion, won’t be the first big company to switch from NYSE to Nasdaq. Kraft Foods, with a market cap of $32.1 billion, moved last year, while Texas Instruments and its $43.9 billion market cap switched in 2011.

Oracle Corp., with a market cap of $152.6 billion, moved the other way, from Nasdaq to NYSE, in July.

Marriott has seen its revenue slide some from a pre-recession peak of $13 billion in 2007 to $11.8 billion last year. The company has been profitable the last three years after losing $346 million in 2009, during the worst year of the recession.

Marriott has more than 3,800 properties in 72 countries and territories under 18 brands.

kshay@gazette.net