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.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of priceline.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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