I believe in second chances.

As critical as I've been about Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) since its IPO two summers ago, I have to applaud the company's moves this week. Slashing expenses and bringing in a young yet globally seasoned CEO will go a long way toward making the troubled online portal an investment worth believing in. I went ahead and tagged the stock with an "outperform" rating in Motley Fool CAPS this morning.

Orbitz has been a disaster through most of its publicly traded life. It went public at $15 in July 2007. It didn't help that it began by posting losses, while also failing to keep up with the revenue growth of rivals Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE).

To cut a long story short about a stock you should have shorted long ago, Orbitz shares traded as low as $2 last month.

Like many stocks pounded during 2008, Orbitz has been bouncing back lately. Its stock has nearly doubled since December's low. Bottom-feeders may be inclined to take their profits, but I think things can get even better.

Let's talk about the new CEO. Barney Harford is just 37 years young, but he packs an impressive resume. He spent seven years at Expedia, working his way up to eventually watch over the company's Asia Pacific division. This led to his being named to the board of directors at Chinese travel portal eLong (NASDAQ:LONG), where he served until last year. He also did some advisory work for popular travel comparison shopping site Kayak. In other words, Harford has seen the inner guts of many of Orbtiz's competitors and is well-versed on the global opportunities available.

Orbitz may never achieve the brand style points of Priceline or the story-stock allure of China's Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP). It doesn't have to. Compared with other stateside travel sites, only travel publisher Travelzoo (NASDAQ:TZOO) trades at a lower enterprise value-to-revenue ratio. Achieving profitability and cleaning up its leveraged balance sheet can work wonders for Orbitz's share price.

Harford's introduction alone won't make it happen. However, the company also announced that it would trim as much as $25 million from its annual costs. That is on top of $20 million in overhead cuts that the company introduced two months ago.

It may seem unlikely that a company scaling back is preparing to ascend, but Orbitz has the sober attitude and the potentially electrifying chief to finally get this stock heading in the right direction.

Other ways to fly:

Ctrip.com is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation, and Priceline.com is a Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been booking travel online since the 1990s but does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.