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Orbitz 4Q loss widens, revenue tops Street's view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Orbitz said Thursday that its fourth-quarter loss widened due to a large impairment charge.

Its quarterly revenue, however, topped expectations and its revenue outlook was roughly in line with forecasts. Its stock jumped 15 percent.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the online travel company lost $314.6 million, or $2.96 per share. That compares with a loss of $46.5 million, or 44 cents per share, a year ago.

The current quarter included a goodwill and impairment charge of $321.2 million

Analysts surveyed by FactSet, apparently not anticipating the impairment charge, expected earnings of 7 cents per share. Excluding the impairment charge and based on 106.2 million shares outstanding, Orbitz would have earned 6 cents a share.

Revenue increased 7 percent to $189.7 million from $177.1 million, beating Wall Street's estimate of $184.9 million.

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said that its revenue performance was helped by increased hotel volume, higher ad revenue and an increase in revenue per air and hotel transaction.

Gross bookings slipped 2 percent, hurt by lower air volume. This was somewhat offset by increased hotel, vacation package and car rental volumes, higher air fares and a shift in the mix of air suppliers.

The Chicago company reported a full-year loss of $301.7 million, or $2.86 per share. In the prior year it lost $37.3 million, or 36 cents per share.

Annual revenue climbed 2 percent to $778.8 million from $766.8 million.

Going forward, Orbitz sees 2013 revenue rising 2.5 percent to 5 percent. Based on 2012's $778.8 million, this implies $798 million to $818 million.

The company expects first-quarter revenue between $194 million and $200 million.

Analysts predict full-year revenue of $808.9 million and first-quarter revenue of $197.9 million.

The stock added 41 cents to $3.11 in afternoon trading. Over the past year, the shares have traded in a range of $2.07 to $4.75.