Turbulent IPO, trading debut for Blackstone-backed Orbitz(3)

The IPO for travel website Orbitz priced lower than the expected range, and its NYSE debut mirrored the falling stock of its backer, Blackstone.

Shares of online travel site Orbitz are experiencing stock market turbulence, much like its private equity backer, The Blackstone Group.

Orbitz sold 34 million shares Thursday at $15 (€10.86) per share, below the expected $16 to $18 range, and subsequently saw its stock slide through the initial public offering price during Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

At press time, Orbitz shares were down more than 3 percent to $14.50, and several financial bloggers were commenting that Orbitz deserved its ticker symbol: “OWW”.

Blackstone – which paid $4.3 billion for Orbitz and Cheap Tickets last year – also had a rough day on Wall Street, with its stock price dropping more than 5 percent. Shares in its management company hit an all-time low of $25.63 Friday and closed up at $25.95 – more than 16 percent less than Blackstone’s $31 offering price in June.

Blackstone did not return a request for comment.