Orbitz Worldwide (OWW), a global online travel company, enables both leisure and business travelers to search and book a range of travel products and services. Of the 14 analysts covering the stock, 7% recommended buying and 78.6% holding. On an average, analysts polled by Bloomberg estimate a 24.7% upside from current levels.
The company has shifted focus from the U.S. travel market and lower-margin air ticket sales to the hotel business, a strategy that will benefit Orbitz in the upcoming months. As per Benchmark analysts, Orbitz will capture business from traditional travel agents, as indicated by growing transaction volumes and gross bookings.
International gross bookings zoomed 29% year-over-year during the first nine months of 2010, due to a major contribution from e-bookers. JP Morgan foresees e-booking business boosting in 2011, thereby pushing Orbitz's growth. Meanwhile, the company's ongoing and expected focus on its hotel business--HotelClub--will generate attractive results.JP Morgan believes that the company's growth is contingent on its cash balance and leverage ratios. For 2011, cash and cash equivalents are seen at $155 million, as compared to the 2010 estimate of $155 million. Total debt is seen declining to $484 million in 2011 from $556 million in 2010. Supporting this upbeat outlook is capital infusion by PAR Investment Partners and Blackstone. Together, these two firms invested almost $100 million in early 2010, with Blackstone owning 55% of common stock through Travelport and PAR accounting for 25% of common stock.
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