Essex Corp., a small technology company based in Columbia, reported a second-quarter loss yesterday of $176,000 due primarily to a sharp decline in its satellite communications business.
The loss, equal to 4 cents a share, compared with a profit of $19,000 in the second quarter last year.
Revenue in the three months that ended June 27 totaled $798,000, a decline of 35.8 percent from the $1,733,000 posted in the 1999 quarter.
Essex attributed much of its loss to the "downturn" of Motorola's Iridium satellite project. Motorola is de-orbiting 66 satellites with the approval of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Essex has been doing communications work for that project.
Essex's work on the Iridium project declined to $243,000 in the first six month of this year - an 83.2 percent drop from the $1.4 million it did on the project in the first half of last year.
But Essex is replacing some of that work with a six-month, $343,000 wireless communications project for Motorola.
And Essex reported revenue of $1.28 million for the six-month period from its work on optoelectronics systems that can be used to detect underground utility power lines, pipes and water or cavities. The revenue is a 76 percent increase over the like period last year.
For the first six months of the year, Essex reported a loss of $184,000, equal to 4 cents a share.
This compares with a deficit of $130,000, or 3 cents a share, posted for the first half of 1999.
Revenue in the six months amounted to $1,773,000, down 19.8 percent from $2,210,000 in the year-earlier period.