Orbitz IPO sees heavy blogosphere shelling

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 11, 2007

Well, online travel site Orbitz’s registration statement for an initial public offering has been filed for less than two days and it’s already getting universally panned around the blogosphere. Private equity giant Blackstone took the company off Cedant’s hands last summer and wants to do a quick flip. Cedant bought Orbitz back in 2004 after Orbitz’s initial modestly successful IPO. Problem is, the company has been reconfigured so many times, its hard to get a clear read on its financial condition.

Hedge fund manager Paul Kedrodsky may have been first to take a shot on his Infectious Greed blog, calculating that Orbitz lost $144 million last year on revenue of $752 million. Journalist Kevin Kelleher over at GigaOM says Orbitz went even further, saying Orbitz is now the leading candidate for worst IPO of 2007. Howard Lindzon, creator of Investing Insight’s favorite video blog, Wallstrip, calls it a disaster “thrown together by a bunch of private equity greedmongers.” Now Technorati is showing 57 blog posts and I can’t find a kind word in ‘em. Ouch.

Reader Comments

Jim

November 27, 2007 8:30 AM

I have used Orbitz, hotwire, Expedia and Travelocity, all have their pro's and con's.

I spotted a site called Anyfares.com, found air tickets so cheap that my savings were about 35% cheaper than Orbitz, hotwire, Expedia and Travelocity. Flights internationally such as Europe in particular that are great and South American, China and middle East countries, they have excellent rates. Domestic though there are some what competitive where I used either Hotwire or the airlines direct from their web sites.

What I really like about Anyfares.com is they sell tickets on US dollars in foreign countries and all their tickets are e-tickets so if you are in France and need a fight to St.Petersburg Russia or London or Frankfurt, they sell everything in US dollars and you have your tickets emailed in 10 minutes so you can just travel just like that. Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity, they sell their tickets if you are out of the US, they will charged you the currency in that country if you want to fly from there to somewhere else. So if I was in France for example and I want to fly to London, Frankfurt or anywhere, they will charge me in Euros or Pound Notes (it is like charging you double when the US dollar is so weak) when if you are an American and want to save, you can't save because Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity will charged the currency if you are outside the United States but with Anyfares.com, they don't. Euros, Swiss Marks, British Pounds, Russian Rubles and etc, they currencies are high to the US dollar and if you are an American, you are stuck if you have to meet those currencies if you have only US dollars.

So consider if you have a money budget and you can't afford the high currencies, try http://www.anyfares.com

Jim

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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