Which of these FTSE 100 leisure stocks should you buy after today's news?

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Whitbread costa coffee machine
Whitbread costa coffee machine

Accommodation giant InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) has seen its share price dip 2% in end-of-week trading following a lukewarm reception to its latest trading numbers.


InterContinental reported that sales growth had slowed during July-September, the company reporting a 1.3% rise in revenues per available room. This is down from the 2% advance recorded for the first half.

The hotel operator saw sales in its Asia, Middle East & Africa division dip 0.1% during the three-month period, while revenues in Europe flatlined in Q3. But InterContinental continued to perform well in the Americas and Greater China, and sales here rose 1.9% and 0.9% respectively.

This led the Footsie hotelier to advise that "despite the uncertain environment in some markets, we remain confident in the outlook for the remainder of the year."

The City certainly doesn't appear to be too concerned by InterContinental's earnings outlook either, certainly not in the immediate term. Indeed, the beds behemoth is anticipated to enjoy a modest earnings uptick in 2016, before punching a splendid 17% advance in 2017.

These figures create P/E ratings of 22.1 times and 19 times respectively, for Intercontinental, sailing well above the FTSE 100 average of 15 times.

And value hunters will no doubt be put off by the firm's dividend yields of 2.2% for 2016 and 2.4% for next year, which fall some way short of the big-cap average of 3.5%.

However, I believe InterContinental's ambitious expansion strategy -- a scheme that saw it open 51 new hotels during the last quarter alone -- and its bold plans for growth markets like China still make it an attractive stock candidate for long-term investors.

Beverages beauty

Unlike InterContinental, whose vast international presence has helped keep its share price bubbling around August's record peaks, fellow leisure play Whitbread (LSE: WTB) has seen its value trickle lower again as investors' Brexit fears have gained momentum.

However, I believe this insipid market appetite makes the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee owner a great pick for contrarian investors.

Whitbread is expected to punch more modest earnings increases of 2% and 7% in the periods to February 2017 and 2018 respectively. Yet these numbers result in very-reasonable P/E ratios of 15.6 times and 14.6 times.

Dividend yields of 2.5% and 2.7% may also lag the big-cap average, but I reckon Whitbread should provide tasty returns in the years ahead.

While demand for its British hotel beds has softened more recently, I expect this to pick up again as the firm's expansion drive continues and the weakness of sterling draws holidaymakers from abroad. And Whitbread may also benefit from sleepy travellers 'trading down' from more expensive accommodation providers.

On top of this, demand for Costa Coffee's beverages continues to gain traction too, prompting Whitbread to create between 230 and 250 new outlets across the globe this year alone.

I believe both InterContinental and Whitbread remain solid picks for growth hunters.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.