Essex Corp. net falls 6% for third quarter Work on satellite projects credited for sales gain at Columbia company

October 22, 1998|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

Essex Corp., a small Columbia-based technology company, reported yesterday third-quarter net income of $67,000 -- down 6 percent from $71,000 in the comparable period a year earlier.

For the 13-week period that ended Sept. 27, the company listed earnings per share of 2 cents, unchanged from a year earlier, on revenue of $1.27 million, up from $934,000.

Harry Letaw, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, said engineers working on a variety of projects -- including Motorola's Iridium communications satellite network -- contributed to the 35 percent increase in sales.

"Although this is a very positive turn of events, it does not mean that we can yet forecast unruffled sailing weather for Essex," Letaw said.

Year-to-year comparisons of continuing operations appeared favorable for Essex. The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $196,000 in last year's third quarter -- with $267,000 from sales of some operations putting it into the black. Income from continuing operations in this year's third quarter was $67,000.

For the first nine months of the year, the company had a net loss of $273,000, or 6 cents a share -- compared with a net loss of $915,000, or 25 cents, a share a year earlier.

The company, which employs 50 and is struggling to market what it calls breakthrough opto-electronic technology, said work on the Iridium cellular satellite and Teledesic "Internet in the sky" communications programs accounted for 72 percent of its revenue for the first nine months -- compared with about 45 percent in 1997.

At the end of the third quarter, the struggling company had working capital of approximately $491,000 and stockholders equity of approximately $415,000.

Letaw said the company is submitting proposals to key customers in an attempt to fill its order book. He said aerospace businesses have expressed interest in Essex Corp.'s ImSyn processor and related products. "We have booked small, but promising new business additions," he said.

Letaw also said ImSyn users are making progress in adapting the company's equipment for use with radar and magnetic resonance imaging systems.

"We are working with three customers to obtain funds enabling them to purchase or lease existing equipment now in their hands on loan," Letaw said. "Several customers are also seeking funds to finance various upgrades of the equipment."

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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