Astrotech CFO Exits as Satellite Processing Firm Reports Year-over-Year Sales Increase

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PARIS — Satellite payload processing services provider Astrotech reported higher revenue and operating profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 compared with a year ago on the strength of increased launch services to commercial customers.

Austin, Texas-based Astrotech, which is in the middle of a broad evaluation of its business, nonetheless said it may need to amend debt covenants with its bank lenders because a single commercial customer’s launch has been delayed.

The company did not name the customer, but Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif., has repeatedly delayed the launch of its new Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch, which will be Falcon 9’s first to the geostationary transfer orbit used by most telecommunications satellites, is now scheduled for late this month.

In a Nov. 14 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Astrotech said Chief Financial Officer Carlisle Kirkpatrick resigned as of Oct. 30 and will be replaced by Eric Stober, the company’s former vice president for corporate development.

Stober is Astrotech’s third chief financial officer in two years. Kirkpatrick had been in his job only since late 2012 following the dismissal of John Porter in August 2012. Porter earlier this year sued Astrotech for breach of contract. Astrotech said it has rejected Porter’s claims.

Astrotech reported $6.7 million in revenue for the three months ending Sept. 30, up 10 percent from the same period last year. Operating income was $1.06 million, against a loss of $2.7 million last year.

The performance did not match the company’s exceptional results of the previous three-month period, ending June 30, during which it reported $9.2 million in revenue and $2 million in operating profit.

Astrotech said most of its revenue during the three months ending Sept. 30 came from commercial customers, whose business is more profitable to the company than is the work it does to support U.S. government missions. 

 

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