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Loral Sees Profit Jump 48.1 Percent In Third Quarter, Boeing Payment Included

By | November 20, 2006

      Loral Space & Communications Inc. [LORL], the giant satellites producer and operator, reported one measure of profits soared 48.1 percent during July through September.

      Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped to $28 million in the third quarter, shading the $18.9 million in the same quarter last year, the company reported.

      The increase reflects $10 million of one time revenue items: a $15 million termination payment from The Boeing Co. [BA] resulting from the discontinuation of its Connexion by Boeing service, offset by recognition of $5 million in revenue in 2005 for services provided in prior years, according to the company.

      Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended Sept. 30 grew to $54.8 million from $39.8 million for the same period last year, a 37.7 percent improvement.

      According to Loral, its satellite fleet is drawing more use.

      Utilization on Loral Skynet’s satellite fleet at the end of the third quarter was 74 percent compared to 67 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2005.

      After accounting for the Connexion by Boeing cancellation of $37 million in backlog, Loral Skynet’s backlog at September 30, 2006 was $358 million, including intercompany backlog of $18 million.

      Revenue for the third quarter of 2006 rose to $227 million, a 41.9 percent advance over the $160 million last year.

      For the first nine months of 2006, revenue was $592 million, an increase of 38 percent over the $429 million reported in the same period in 2005.

      Non-recurring items increased revenue growth by $10 million in both current periods.

      “Our overall business execution has been excellent,” said Michael B. Targoff, Loral’s chief executive officer. “Space Systems/Loral’s vigorous pursuit of opportunities in the commercial satellite manufacturing industry has resulted in the capture of five satellite awards this year. In addition, four satellites have been delivered to customers thus far and another is scheduled for delivery in December. We believe that both short- and long-term opportunities for SS/L continue to evidence the recovery of the satellite manufacturing industry.”

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