Citing the pinch of the federal budget sequester and the settlement of a lawsuit, KEYW Holding Corp., a cybersecurity and intelligence contractor based in Hanover, lost $5.5 million in the July-to-September period, down from $341,000 in last year's third quarter, the company announced.

On a per share basis, it lost 15 cents in the quarter after making a profit of a penny per share a year earlier.

Much of that loss was driven by the settlement of a $45 million suit filed against KEYW by Exelis Inc., a competitor based in McLean, Va., that alleged KEYW hired former Exelis employees and stole trade secrets. The settlement resulted in a one-time charge that lopped 13 cents off KEYW's third quarter earnings.

During the third quarter, KEYW's revenue rose to $73.8 million, 29 percent more than a year earlier, thanks to its acquisitions of Poole & Associates and Sensage Inc. toward the end of last year.