by Brian Orlotti
Accounting isn't often included within the traditional conception of "rocket science," but an accurate accounting of fiscal activities is important for every business, even BC based MacDonald, Dettwiler (MDA), which last week released its financial results for the fiscal quarter ending March 31st.
Canadian News Wire (CNW) press release "MDA reports first quarter 2013 results."
As outlined in the report, earnings this quarter were $41.8Mln CDN ($1.30 per share) on revenues of $428.6Mln CDN. For comparison, earnings for the first quarter of 2012 were $28.9Mln CDN ($0.91 per share) with revenues of $172Mln CDN. The results for this past quarter include three months of activity from Space Systems/Loral (SSL), which MDA acquired on November 2, 2012.
Order bookings were strong, with a record order backlog of $3.0Bln CDN as of March 31, 2013, as compared to $2.2Bln CDN in December 31, 2012.
Notable MDA milestones this past quarter included:
- A $706Mln CDN contract with the Canadian Space Agency to build, launch and provide initial operations for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM).
- A contract with a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation to build Jupiter 2/EchoStar XIX, a Ka-band satellite that will help meet the growing demand for high-speed satellite Internet service in North America.
- An $81Mln CDN contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to continue to provide engineering and operational support for its robotic elements on the International Space Station (ISS) through December 2015.
- A $2.6 million contract from NASA's Johnson Space Center to extend its support of the Robotic Work Station on the ISS.
- A $15.8 million contract from the CSA for the preliminary design of an advanced instrument for New Frontiers Program-OSIRIS-REx, a spacecraft that will travel to the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, study it in detail, and bring back a sample of at least 60 grams (2.1 ounces) to Earth. Total contract value for initial phases received to date is $19Mln CDN.
There is a possibility that these "large non-operational" expenses are related to negotiations with Ontario based Magellan Aerospace over the buss component of RCM, which has led to a slight delay in the revenue ramp on the project. As outlined in the May 27th, 2009 Canadian News Wire (CNW) press release "Magellan Aerospace awarded contract for RADARSAT Constellation Mission bus development," the firm was originally awarded a "phase-B" development contract in 2009, but has received no formal work since.
On March 27, 2013, the company closed its public offering of 4,145,750 common shares at a price of $69.40 per share for gross proceeds of $287.7Mln CDN. These proceeds have been used to reduce debt in preparation for future growth initiatives.
Overall, it might not be rocket science, but it is a useful report on the fiscal health of one of Canada's most iconic space companies.