The shares of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: OWW) are skidding all over the charts today following the company's second-quarter earnings release. Orbitz confessed to a net loss of $5 million, or six cents per share, much improved from its year-ago loss of $32 million. Revenue for the recently concluded quarter inched 1% higher to $231 million.
While the results were better than the same quarter in 2007, analysts were looking for an even smaller loss of three cents per share on more robust revenue of $234 million.
Gross bookings increased 4% to $3 billion, thanks to a little help from overseas -- international bookings rocketed 41% higher, compared to a 1% slump in domestic bookings. Orbitz's international business now accounts for 23% of its revenue, up three percentage points from the year prior.
Despite the challenges facing Orbitz, president and CEO Steven Barnhart professed his enthusiasm about some new initiatives to drive growth. Specifically, the travel firm is launching a new "Price Assurance" functionality, and the company just entered a multi-year partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to serve as the online provider for MSN.com's travel portals. Barnhart said these initiatives "will accelerate our domestic growth in the second half of the year and help offset any impact from current economic and travel industry uncertainty."