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Orbital Sciences 2Q profit slips without tax gain

DULLES, Va. (AP) -- Orbital Sciences Corp., which makes satellites, rockets and other space technology, said Thursday its net income sank 31 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago, when its results were helped by an income tax adjustment.

Orbital Sciences reported greater revenue from advanced space programs and said it received $870 million in new orders and contract options that were exercised during the quarter. Its income decreased compared to a year ago, when it logged a gain of $7.7 million, or 13 cents per share, from a favorable adjustment to its income taxes.

The company said its profit fell to $14.6 million, or 25 cents per share, from $21.2 million, or 36 cents per share, one year ago. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $371.3 million from $350.6 million. Revenue from advanced space programs rose 29 percent to $133 million, which made up for lower revenue from launch vehicles and satellites and space systems.

Analysts were forecasting income of 24 cents per share on revenue of $361.4 million, according to FactSet.

Orbital Sciences said it performed four launch vehicle and satellite missions during the quarter and delivered five other systems to customers for future missions. It is scheduled to complete as many as 20 more missions in 2012, including the first launches of its Antares rocket. That rocket will eventually carry the company's unmanned Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Orbital Sciences said it still expects to earn 95 cents to $1.05 per share in 2012. It trimmed its revenue forecast to a range of $1.43 billion to $1.48 billion, down from $1.45 billion to $1.5 billion.

Analysts had estimated net income of $1.02 per share and $1.48 billion in revenue on average.

Shares of Orbital Sciences slipped 22 cents to $13.18 on Thursday.