February 16, 2011 / 3:43 PM / 7 years ago

Orbitz posts wider quarterly loss

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Orbitz Worldwide, an online travel agency, reported a wider quarterly loss, hurt by charges, and forecast first-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations, sending its shares down as much as 8 percent.

The company said its U.S. leisure business is being hurt by the absence of American Airlines from Orbitz.com and Orbitzforbusiness.com sites, and reduced transaction share from travel site kayak.com.

AMR Corp’s American Airlines had said in December it would no longer sell flights on Orbitz Worldwide after a ruling from an Illinois court. The carrier had said it would stop displaying and selling fares through Orbitz and Orbitz for Business.

American had warned earlier this year that it would stop selling tickets on Orbitz on December 1 if Orbitz did not use a direct link to the airline’s inventory. A court in November temporarily blocked that move.

The operator of Orbitz.com and Cheaptickets.com reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $78 million, or 76 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $18.1 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $182.4 million, helped by an increase in hotel volume and average daily rates for hotel rooms.

Shares of Orbitz, which fell as much as 8 percent to $3.78 in early trade, pared most of their losses and were trading down 1 percent at $4.13 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj and Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore, Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal, Jarshad Kakkrakandy

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