Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE:CHH) today announced its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable January 26, 2004, to shareholders of record as of January 16, 2003. The payment will be the first cash dividend payment by Choice under a plan announced on August 13, 2003.
“We are pleased to initiate this cash dividend payment to return more value to our shareholders,” said Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., president and chief executive officer. “We believe the timing is right to take advantage of our strong balance sheet and the high free cash flow generated by our growing franchise business.”
Choice Hotels International is the second largest hotel franchisor in the world, with 4,773 hotels open, representing 384,814 rooms, in the United States and 41 other countries and territories. As of September 30, 2003, 338 hotels are under development in the United States, representing 26,059 rooms, and an additional 88 hotels, representing 9,358 rooms, are under development in 17 countries and territories. Its Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and MainStay Suites brands serve guests worldwide.
Certain matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law. Such statements are based on management`s beliefs, assumptions and expectations, which in turn are based on information currently available to management. Actual performance and results could differ from those expressed in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Choice`s ability to predict or control. For further information on factors that could impact Choice and the statements contained therein, we refer you to the filings made by Choice with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2003.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels` Internet site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com
Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and MainStay Suites are registered trademarks of Choice Hotels International, Inc.