Why Orbitz Worldwide Shares Were Grounded

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 discount travel and hotel booking site Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW  ) fell as much as 14%, after announcing the resignation of its chief financial officer, Mitch Marcus.

So what: In a press statement released today, Orbitz noted that Marcus resigned, effective immediately, to pursue other interests, and appointed David Belmont as the interim CFO. What's particularly disturbing about this move was that Marcus' tenure as CFO hardly lasted two months. This will actually be Belmont's second go-around as Orbitz's interim CFO.

Now what: It's rarely a good sign when your CFO is leaving to pursue other interests after only two months on the job. I personally cast off Orbitz from my Watchlist years ago, as it's been slow to transition its business overseas and has lost much of its market share to priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN  ) and Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE  ) , despite a much-increased advertising budget. Both priceline and Expedia have forged the hotel and airline relationships needed to draw consumers, as well as utilized Europe's untapped travel site market to grow their operations internationally. Until Orbitz can demonstrate steady bottom line profits -- and can keep a CFO in office for longer than two months – I'd suggest keeping your distance.

Craving more input? Start by adding Orbitz Worldwide to your free and personalized Watchlist, so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

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