DigitalGlobe posts second-quarter profit

LONGMONT – Satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI) announced a 5 percent increase in second-quarter revenue as well as a $75 million share repurchase plan on Thursday.

The news came in the Longmont-based company’s earnings report covering the fiscal quarter ending June 30.

The DigitalGlobe announcement stated that the share repurchase will be executed in the next 18 months, with the possibility of shares being bought either in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.

DigitalGlobe’s second-quarter revenue was $157.8 million, up from $150.6 million for the same period a year ago. The company reported net income available to common shareholders of $3.9 million, or 5 cents per diluted share. That’s compared with a loss of $22 million, or 30 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

Much of the revenue bump came thanks to revenue from the U.S. government increasing 15.5 percent to $95.5 million in the second quarter.

DigitalGlobe released its earnings report after markets closed Thursday. The company’s shares closed at $26.15 Thursday, down 2.8 percent from the day before and nearing a 52-week low of $26.02.

“We are looking forward to the launch of WorldView-3 in mid-August – further extending our commanding lead in all aspects of quality that matter to customers,” said chief executive Jeffrey Tarr, who recently received a new three-year contract with the company. “We are also pleased to introduce a $75 million share repurchase that reflects our confidence in our future and our commitment to balancing organic growth, M&A and return of capital in a fashion intended to create shareowner value over time.”

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite, built by Ball Aerospace & Technolgies Corp. in Boulder, is slated for a mid-August launch.

DigitalGlobe also announced Thursday that the launch of WorldView-4, previously named GeoEye2, has been moved up to the middle of 2016 to help meet the demand of commercial customers in the wake of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recent ruling allowing DigitalGlobe to sell imagery with resolution up to 25 centimeters.

“This will extend our industry leadership, capture more of our customers’ mapping and monitoring missions, provide an even stronger foundation on which to grow our Geospatial Big Data and analytic capabilities, and uniquely address pressing global challenges,” Tarr said in a release. “By placing this asset on orbit where it can generate revenue rather than storing it on the ground, we will improve returns and create shareowner value.”

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