Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:30pm EDT

* Q3 adj EPS $0.68 vs est $0.57

* Q3 rev $183.8 mln vs est $177 mln

* Sees Q4 RevPAR up 7-8 pct

* Ups FY10 adj EPS view to $1.77-$1.79 vs est $1.70

* Sees FY RevPAR up 2 pct

Oct 27 (Reuters) – Choice Hotels International Inc’s (CHH.N) third-quarter profit beat market expectations as revenue per available room rose, but the company forecast fourth-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates.

Choice, a pure play hotel franchisor, expects adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, below analysts’ expectations of 41 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is expected to grow 7-8 percent for the period.

For the third quarter, the company posted net income of $40.5 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $32.8 million, or 55 cents last year.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share.

Domestic systemwide revPAR — a measure of hotel-industry performance based on occupancy and room rates — rose 7.8 percent in the quarter. RevPAR grew for the first time in two years in the second quarter.

Budget hotel operators like Choice, which benefited amid the recession, have lagged more luxury oriented peers like Marriott International Inc (MAR.N) as the lodging recovery has set in.

Shares of the company, which franchises brands like EconoLodge and Comfort Inn, have risen about 5 percent over the last three months. Marriott shares have risen 12 percent by contrast.

Choice shares closed at $36.31 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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