MDA Pays $32 Million Compensation Expense from SS/L Acquisition

[Satellite TODAY Insider 07-30-12] Canadian satellite firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) reported a 2012 second-quarter net loss of $1 million due to a $32 million share-based compensation expense that was triggered by the sharp rise in the company’s shares after it completed an $875 million acquisition of manufacturer Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) last month, according to MDA’s latest financial results issued July 27.

   On the day of the acquisition, Loral’s stock value jumped 13 percent, with MDA’s stock soaring 28 percent. The transaction intended to turn MDA into a significant commercial communications entity and top global provider of commercial communications satellites to customers in the U.S. market. Following the acquisition, MDA said it would have combined annual revenues of $1.9 billion as of the 2011 calendar year and a combined backlog of $2.8 billion as of March 31, 2012.
   MDA’s second quarter net earnings were $29.6 million or 72 cents per share, with revenues slipping from $195 million in the 2011 second quarter to $164 million in 2012. MDA’s operating earnings were $29 million, or 91 cents per share, which barely beat analysts’ consensus. The company’s quarterly revenue production, however, fell approximately $15 million short of analysts’ projections of $179 million.
   The company’s funded backlog slipped to $656 million as of June 30, 2012, compared with its $765 million mark at the end of the 2012 first quarter in March. MDA management said the company’s second-quarter backlog tally did not include recently announced contracts valued at over $125 million to provide communications payload solutions.
   Those contracts most likely included an award from Israel Aerospace Industries to supply a communications payload solution for the Amos-6 satellite. That contract was valued at more than $90 million and scheduled for finalization by the end of July. MDA said it has started work under an authorization to proceed. Amos-6 will be launched in 2014. Once in service, the satellite aims to enhance the capacity of the existing Amos satellite constellation, which is owned and operated by Israeli satellite communications service provider Spacecom.
   MDA also signed a contract valued at approximately $35 million with United Kingdom-based Avanti Communications to provide a Ka-band broadband communications payload solution for the operator’s Hylas 3 satellite. Avanti aims to use Hylas 3 to provide satellite data communications services covering Africa and the Middle East. The satellite is expected to launch in 2015.
   MDA attempted to sell its satellite division several years ago to U.S. defense contractor ATK, but the Canadian government blocked the transaction for national security reasons.

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