Orbitz posts profit, but cuts full-year view

Wed Nov 7, 2012 10:08am EST

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(Reuters) - Orbitz Worldwide Inc (OWW.N) on Wednesday reported higher quarterly profit, but cut its full-year forecast, sending its shares down nearly 10 percent in morning trading.

The Chicago-based online travel agency, which owns the CheapTickets and ebookers travel sites, said the downturn in Europe slowed growth in hotel room nights, but added it was seeing recovery.

Still, the company cut its full-year forecast for net revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The company said it expected net revenue of $772 million to $778 million and adjusted EBITDA between $124.5 million and $129.5 million for the full year.

That would represent growth of less than 1 percent to 1.5 percent over net revenue of $766.8 million in 2011. For adjusted EBITDA, the revised forecast would represent a drop of about 1.9 percent to growth of 2 percent over $126.9 million last year.

In August, Orbitz forecast that full-year net revenue would rise 2 percent to 4 percent, while adjusted EBITDA would be flat to up 5 percent.

In the third quarter, growth in hotel and vacation package revenue offset falling air travel revenue, and Orbitz cut operating expenses.

Net income came to $14.8 million, or 14 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $11.2 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.

Net revenue fell 2 percent to $198.3 million in the quarter, compared with $200.9 million expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gross bookings fell 7 percent. Hotel and vacation package revenue rose 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in the quarter while air net revenue fell 3 percent.

Orbitz also said on Wednesday that Mitch Marcus, who most recently held a financial post at Sara Lee, would become chief financial officer as of November 12. David Belmont, who had served as interim finance chief since June, will return to his post as group vice president, financial planning and analysis, the company said.

Shares of Orbitz were off 25 cents, or 9.6 percent, at $2.35 in morning trading.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dale Hudson)

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