Six months late, a few dollars short Struggling Essex Corp. not making a profit, but numbers improve


August 08, 1998|By Greg Schneider | Greg Schneider,SUN STAFF

Essex Corp. of Columbia reported financial results yesterday.

For 1997.

The 50-employee company, struggling to market what it calls breakthrough opto-electronic technology, was late reporting last year's numbers because its accountants were unsure whether Essex had the resources to be considered a going concern.

Yesterday, Essex reported revenue of $1.013 million for the fourth quarter of 1997, 44 percent more than the $703,000 posted for the fourth quarter of 1996.

Net income in the fourth quarter was $475,000, or 13 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.348 million, or 37 cents per share, in the final period of 1996.

Last year's fourth-quarter income was boosted by the sale of two divisions, which added $968,000 to the period's results. Continuing operations posted a loss of $493,000, or 13 cents per share.

Those continuing operations lost $799,000, or 22 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 1996.

The company is preparing its financial results for the first two quarters of this year, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harry Letaw said he hopes to resume timely reporting soon.

Several factors could help the numbers improve, Letaw said. The company has won increased business providing software support to Motorola's Iridium communications satellite network.

And while Essex has not sold any of its patented opto-electronic ImSyn image processors this year, it has several government contracts to explore the technology.

"While we are not yet operating profitably, current and projected business volume coupled with vigorous cost control are expected to lead to gradually improving results," Letaw said.

Essex revenue totaled $4.012 million in 1997, up 8.7 percent from $3.692 million in 1996. The company reported a loss of $440,000, or 12 cents per share, for last year. That was better than the loss of $1.334 million, or 37 cents per share, in 1996.

Pub Date: 8/08/98

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