Comsat estimates third-quarter loss at $16 million


In a move that could reverse a summertime rebound in its stock price, Comsat Corp. announced yesterday that it expects to post a loss of about $16 million for the third quarter of this year.

In a news release issued after the stock market closed yesterday, Comsat said the estimated loss of about 33 cents a share is the result of lower operating earnings and a charge against earnings of about $32 million, or 48 cents a share. The Bethesda-based company will release final quarterly results about Oct. 20.

Comsat attributed the expected $5 million decline in its operating income to losses in its Comsat Entertainment Group and lower profit margins in its Comsat RSI manufacturing arm.

The income drop in the entertainment group reflects the costs of consolidating its hotel video business, seasonal trends in its Denver sports operation and the costs of buying the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League, Comsat said. Comsat's stock price, which had fallen to about $18 this spring, closed at $24.25 yesterday.

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