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BUSINESS NEWS 04 Mar 05.

02 Mar 05. The FT reported that Martin Read, chief executive of LogicaCMG, said he expected the Anglo-Dutch IT services group to make “significant progress” this year as it finally began to see the benefits of its 2002 merger and put restructuring costs behind it. This follows the company’s success as part of the winning DII Atlas team announced yesterday (See: BATTLESPACE ALERT Vol.7 ISSUE 9
March 2nd 2005, EDS-LED ATLAS CONSORTIUM CONFIRMED AS PREFERRED BIDDER FOR FIRST INCREMENT OF UK DII REQUIREMENT). The news came as LogicaCMG revealed a small decline in annual revenues and underlying profits which was in line with market expectations as a strong UK performance was offset by weaker than expected trading in France. Booming public sector IT work helped lift margins in the UK to 12.4 per cent in the second half. However, the company continues to lose money in France and Germany. Although Germany has started to turn the corner following restructuring efforts last year, the French business made little progress amid tough markets.Revenues fell 2.2 per cent to £1.66bn in 2004. At the pre-tax level the company returned to the black with profits of £42.4m after a loss of £33m. This reflected the absence of hefty restructuring charges, some £107.2m in 2003, related to the merger with CMG. Earnings per share were 1.9p after a loss of 6.3p. The final dividend is 3.5p, making a total payment of 5.8p for the year. Shares in the company, which have eased about 7 per cent since the start of the year, fell a further 4¾p, or 2.5 per cent, to 182½p on Wednesday.

02 Mar 05. Satellite maker Orbital Sciences Corp. reported that fourth-quarter profit more than tripled on tax benefits and forecast 2005 revenue below Wall Street estimates. The company earned $166.1m, or $2.58 per share, up from $51.7m, or 82 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a non-cash tax benefit of $156.5m, Orbital said it would have earned $10.6m, or 16 cents per share, down slightly from the company’s adjusted income of $11.1m, or 18 cents per share, in the 2003 period. Revenue rose 11 percent to $175.2m from $157.8m, driven by increases in science, technology and defense satellite contracts, Orbital said. Revenue declined for launch vehicles and transportation management systems. For 2004, net income soared to $200m, or $3.08 per share, from $20.2m, or 35 cents per share, in 2003. After adjustments, 2004 earnings were $45.6 million, or 70 cents per share, up from $18.4m, or 32 cents per share, in 2003. Revenue rose 16 percent to $675.9m from $581.5m.

03 Mar 05. A Bank of America Securities note added to the bullish mood surrounding the Dow Jones Industrial Average component. The brokerage firm told clients that Boeing’s commercial airplane segment could “materially” exceed targets of 5.5 percent. In midday trading, Boeing’s stock (BA: news, chart, profile) gained 4.6 percent, or $2.55, to $57.85, after notching a three-and-a-half year high of $57.88 earlier in the session. The move was enough to prompt technical analyst Jack Rothstein, editor of Wealthcast.com, to pull the trigger. “I just bought it at $56,” he said. “This is a great spot to buy the stock. “While Rothstein’s investment strategy typically tracks patterns and charts rather than underlying market fundamentals, he pointed out that the current economic and political climate is conducive to an extended run for the aerospace giant. “As long as the Republicans are in power, companies like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin (LMT: news, chart, profile) and General Dynamics (GD: news, chart, profile) will continue to do very, very well,” he said. In Boeing’s case, the charts align in such a way that the stock should move up to $65 a share before running into any resistance, according to Rothstein. He recommended investors “dip their toe” at these levels but put a sell stop order in at around $51 to limit the downside.

22 Feb 05. Michael Gercke and Derek Howell of PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed joint adminis

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