Orbitz raises outlook as 3Q profit doubles

By Reuters
Posted Nov. 4, 2010 at 7:13 a.m.

Online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide Inc. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast a 1-2 percent increase in full-year revenue as a rebounding travel industry lifts hotel and international air bookings. Orbitz, which owns travel sites Orbitz.com and Cheaptickets.com, said third-quarter net profit was $15.3 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with $7.0 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier.

For the third quarter, the company’s gross bookings rose 12 percent to $2.81 billion, helped by higher air fares and increased transaction volume, the company said in a statement.

Orbitz’s strong earnings follow a solid quarter reported by rival Expedia Inc. last week.

Expedia, the largest online travel agency, said total value of its bookings rose 17 percent in the quarter.

Net revenue rose 4 percent to $194.5 million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $196.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Priceline.com Inc., another important player in Orbitz’s peer group is expected to report on Nov. 8.

Orbitz shares, which have gained more than half of their value in the last three months, closed at $6.82 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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