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Satellite Imaging Company GeoEye Reports Strong Third Quarter

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

November 11, 2010

Satellite Imaging Company GeoEye Reports Strong Third Quarter

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor

Global imaging company GeoEye (News - Alert) revealed strong results for its fiscal third quarter end on Sept. 30, 2010, with strong revenue growth, operating margins, and adjusted EBDITA results -- but some losses. The future looks shiny, however, with a 10-year contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) worth up to $3.8 billion.

GeoEye reported total revenues of $86.5 million for the third quarter of 2010, an 8.1 percent increase from the third quarter last year. Net loss for stockholders in the third quarter was $6.5 million -- a loss of $0.30 per fully diluted share; this time last year net income to common stockholders was $0.61 per share.

Revenues with the company's largest customer -- the U.S. government -- were $55.2 million for the quarter and represented nearly 64 percent of total revenue for the quarter. Domestic revenues increased 7.9 percent in the quarter ($62.5 million) as compared to last year while international revenues increased 9.7 percent ($23.9 million) as compared to last year. International revenues make up 27.7 percent of the total revenues for the period.

Operating profits were $29.1 million and adjusted EBITDA was $4.7 million. The company ended the third quarter 2010 with around $297 million in cash and equivalents, $1.1 billion in assets -- think satellites in orbit -- and long-term debt of around $382.5 million.

The big highlight of the quarter -- and the year -- was winning the $3.8 billion EnhancedView contract with NGA. The contract includes $2.8 billion for commercial satellite imagery purchases over the next 10 years, $702 million for value-added products and services to support government operations and a $337 million cost share for the development and launch of the company's GeoEye-2 satellite.

GeoEye-2 is being built by Lockheed Martin (News - Alert) to support the NGA EnhancedView contract and is scheduled to be in operation in 2013. The satellite is expected to provide the best resolution of any commercial Earth imaging satellite in orbit-- down to 25 centimeters according to early reports. Regardless, only the U.S. government will get access to the highest-quality imagery. Civilian users will have to get by with 50 centimeter resolution imagery due to export regulations and foreign purchases of large volumes of imagery will have to be approved by NOAA.

Currently, the comapny has three satellites in orbit: OrbView-2, Ikonos, and GeoEye-1. OrbView-2 provides large swath color imagery, while Ikonos provides monochrome imagery with 82 centimeter resolution while GeoEye-1 provides simultaneous 41 centimeter panchromatic and 1.65 meter multispectral imagery.

Doug Mohney is a contributing editor for TMCnet and a 20-year veteran of the ICT space. To read more of his articles, please visit columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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