RealTime IT News

Orbitz Floats, Bobs in Public Offering

Is the Internet IPO market back?

Not quite yet, if you go by online travel site Orbitz's debut offering.

After a brief morning run-up to $30.75 Wednesday, shares settled at $24.98 near the end of the session, almost 4 percent below the $26 asking price in the offering.

However, earlier in the week, the company did boost the price range and the number of shares to be sold.

The Chicago company was formed by Continental, Delta, Northwest and U.S. Airways in 2000 and sells plane tickets and vacation packages. Orbitz is the third-largest online travel site behind Expedia and Travelocity.

While Orbitz is no fly-by-night company, investors appeared to be a more cautious this time around with a dot-com stock, especially one with the familiar ring of unprofitability.

For the first nine months of the year Orbiz lost $1.4 million on revenue of $172.1 million, according to regulatory filings.

In other IPO news, handset maker Motorola filed paperwork to publicly spin off its chip making unit.

The company hopes to raise $2 billion in the public spinout of its semiconductor unit, according to regulatory filings. The IPO should hit the street in the spring.

The money-losing unit, temporarily dubbed SPS Spinco, has 23,000 employees and is based in Austin. Its products are used in the automotive, networking and wireless communications industries.

The filing comes a day after Motorola named former Sun Microsystems president Edward Zander as its new chairman and CEO.

The 56-year-old Zander takes over Jan. 5, at a time when Motorola has slipped to third in handset revenues behind Nokia and Samsung Electronics.

During a conference call discussing his new position, Zander's comments reflected his goals in the new position. "Motorola should own wireless," he said.

Part of the plan to strengthen the company involves spinning out the semiconductor company which has endured heavy losses in recent years. The spinout was planned before the management change.

Waiting in the wings for a 2004 IPO is Google. The search giant's offering, which is still in the planning stages, is one of the most anticipated in years because of the huge popularity of the site and the search sector.