July 25, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW ) climbed as high as 12% in intraday trading today on extraordinarily high volume.
So what: I couldn't find any company news driving the heavy rally, but with Orbitz scheduled to report earnings next week, extra-bullish investors might be trying to get ahead the crowd. After shedding 60% of its value in the first half of 2011, the shares are now up more than 50% over the past two months alone.
Now what: I wouldn't be so quick to ride the recent wave of momentum. Given its historically low returns on capital, heavy debt load, and lofty forward P/E of nearly 30, Orbitz isn't exactly the most attractive long-term investment. For conservative investors, rivals priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN ) and Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE ) offer cheaper, more fundamentally sound ways to get into the business.
Interested in more info on Orbitz? Add it to your watchlist.