Looks like I was wrong about Cendant (CD) . I mean, I really believed that after Sept. 11, the company's travel and real estate businesses were headed down the tubes.

Heaven-Cendant?
Stock on rise after strong forecast

But I have to hand it to Henry Silverman. He runs a tight ship. And from here on out, my bet's on him -- and the company.

For those unaware, earlier today Cendant announced that it's likely to earn as much as 20 cents a share (from operations) in the fourth quarter. Previously, guidance suggested that the company would earn just 15 cents to 19 cents per share. In addition, management raised its 2002 earnings forecast to $1.25 a share, from the range of $1.15-$1.25. That's why the stock was up 6% today.

In and of itself, that's all great news. But it gets better. Cendant announced plans to clean the decks in the fourth quarter. In other words, it'll take all the necessary charges related to its acquisition of both Galileo International and Cheap Tickets.

It's also looking to potentially wipe the slate clean on other underperforming investments, including its stake in Homestore.com (HOMS) .

The bottom line is that these efforts will make 2002 earnings pure as the driven snow. And with all of the bad news seemingly factored into both earnings and the share price, I can only assume that a slew of positive sell-side research is just around the corner as well.

In short, Silverman has done a terrific job with Cendant -- even in the toughest of times. And from this day forward, I promise to never assume the worst on this company again.

In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, Glenn Curtis doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Curtis welcomes your feedback.