MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (TSX:MDA) reported strong earnings for the third quarter of 2011 with revenues increasing to $182 million compared to $167 million for the same period last year. MDA was boosted in the third quarter by U.S. operations and medical robotics.
Operating earnings in Q3 from continuing operations rose to $30 million, or 73 Canadian cents per share, from $23 million, or 55 Canadian cents per share, a year ago. The company’s funded order backlog rose to $856 million from $833 million.
MDA’s Major Initiative on Hold
CEO Daniel Friedmann reported that MDA could not move forward with its $280 million Space Infrastructure Servicing (SIS) initiative at this time. MDA which has just completed definition phase of its SIS Initiative said the reason for the hold is the ongoing uncertainty on whether MDA through its U.S. subsidiary company would be allowed to be bid on potential contracts which are expected soon. Both NASA and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are expected to release bid requests soon.
Friedmann did say he was a little more optimistic and that the U.S. government “was very aware” of their interest.
For its part, Intelsat, MDA’s anchor tentant for the SIS initiative, is being patient but Friedmann noted that their patience wasn’t infinite.
The day before MDA reported its results the Canadian Space Agency offered a small lifeline to MDA’s SIS initiative by awarding them a $250,000 contract for a concept study for an experimental payload to be placed on the International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate technologies and techniques required to capture a satellite. Ironically enough another NASA funded study similar to this one is expected to get underway shortly on the ISS with MDA providing support. The NASA experiment is meant to help spur U.S. industry in this area.
MDA 3rd Quarter Financial Results: