13 Jan 05. EADS said on Thursday that strong defence operations and increased Airbus orders had led it to lift its operating profit forecast for 2004 to more than €2.3bn ($3.0bn) from €2.2bn previously. Operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), is seen rising to €2.4bn in 2005, the European aerospace giant said. Full-year sales in 2004 were expected at around €32bn, based on a euro-dollar rate of $1.24, boosted by defence sales that climbed to around €8.0bn from €7.1bn in 2003. The military order book now stands at close to €50bn euros, it said, adding that EADS is on track for further improvement across all divisions. EADS expects an EBIT margin of more than 7.0 percent in 2004, up from 5.1 percent and “on the right path” towards the group’s goal of 10 percent. The year-end net cash position is expected to be “significantly in excess of” the year-end 2003 level of €3.1bn. Cash generation was better than expected in the Defence and Security Systems, Airbus and Space divisions, it said.
07 Jan 05. Shares in Taser, the world’s leading maker of stun-guns, fell nearly 18 per cent on Friday, after the company announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission was examining safety claims made for its products. The devices, which use electric shock to stun, have been the target of a critical report by Amnesty International, which said that more than 70 people had died in the United States and Canada over the past four years in Taser-related incidents. The devices are widely used by police forces in the United States, and have been approved by the UK’s Home Office for use in Britain. Rick Smith, chief executive, said the company was confident its statements were supported by the safety studies of its products. (Source: FT)
13 Jan 05. SBC Communications, the second-largest US telecommunications group, and Hewlett-Packard, the IT and computer services group, have formed an alliance to help US businesses streamline the management of their increasingly complex IT and communications systems and networks. The link-up expands a long-term relationship between the two companies and underscores the convergence of IT and telecoms in the corporate market. The companies said they would work together to develop and market a portfolio of flexible packaged services “that integrate telecoms and IT to provide end-to-end managed systems for big business
customers”. For enterprise business customers, the alliance is designed to provide an opportunity to consolidate the management of IT infrastructure including voice and data networks, equipment such as servers, PCs and printers and desktop software. The companies plan to develop additional joint offerings, including services for smaller businesses, this year.Paul Taylor, New York
12 Jan 05. SI International, Inc. (Nasdaq:SINT) announced that it has signed a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire Shenandoah Electronic Intelligence, Inc. (SEI). The acquisition supports SI International’s business strategy to secure consistent growth by broadening its customer base and expanding its portfolio of mission-critical solutions. The acquisition of SEI will enable SI International to strengthen its relationships with the Department of Homeland Security through providing additional mission-critical outsourcing services. Based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and founded by Mr. Walter Curt in 1986, SEI has approximately 1,600 employees with over 99 percent holding security clearances. SEI’s primary client is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). SEI provides business process outsourcing for DHS to include: records management and applications support services; secure optical card processing at one of the largest facilities of its kind; and, analytical support services.
10 Jan 05. IBM acquired Systems Research & Development, a closely held Las Vegas software company whose products have garnered interest in homeland-security circles. Among other things, the