DigitalGlobe hails ‘extraordinary year’

LONGMONT – Satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe Inc. reported a net profit of $17.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, driven in large part by a government contract with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

For all of 2012, the Longmont-based company (NYSE: DGI) reported a net profit of $39 million, according to its latest earnings report. The 2012 company profits compared positively with a net loss of $27 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a net loss of 28.1 million for that year.

Fourth-quarter 2012 revenue was $125.4 million and full year 2012 revenue was $421.4 million, according to the report.

“It was an extraordinary year. And, in so many ways, we’re still just getting started,” Jeffrey R. Tarr, chief executive, said in a call to analysts about the company’s earnings report.

Tarr was referring to the company’s self-described “combination” with former rival satellite image provider GeoEye Inc. GeoEye (Nasdaq: GEOY) is based in Herndon, Virginia, and retains its name and executive team. DigitalGlobe shareholders control 64 percent of the combined company in a deal worth about $900 million.

It’s uncertain how required federal budget cuts slated to go into effect on Friday, March 1, could affect DigitalGlobe, Tarr said in the earnings call. But its key government EnhancedView contract is “mission critical” to U.S. defense forces, Tarr said. In addition, the company made cuts to the EnhancedView program going into 2013, Tarr said. The contract makes up 35 percent of company revenue, he said. In all, government contracts make up 50 percent of company revenue, Tarr said.

“We feel really good about it, and we feel great about the capacity and the value of that capacity that we are delivering to our U.S. government customer,” Tarr said.

At the same time, company revenue from private sources is growing, Tarr said, adding that the GeoEye combination has made DigitalGlobe more diversified because its focus is now less capital intensive on the geospatial information business.

The company expects to report revenue in the range of $635 million to $660 million for 2013, according to the earnings report. The estimate includes the revenue contribution from GeoEye that started on Feb. 1.

DigitalGlobe expects to spend $230 million on capital expenditures this year, according to the report. Expenditures include the work to complete the new GeoEye-2 satellite but not launch it, the company said; continued work on the newWorldView-3 satellite; and maintenance.

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