The Rouse Co., a real estate developer based in Columbia, Md., earned less than half as much in the third quarter as it did in the same period last year.

The company's net income in the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $707,000 (nothing per share) compared with $1.5 million (2 cents) in the same quarter last year. Revenue was $130.63 million, up 6.7 percent from $122.47 million a year earlier.

The company said the earnings declined primarily because of timing delays in land sales in Columbia, the planned community it began and continues to develop.

Hadron Inc., a Fairfax high-technology company, lost $59,058 in the quarter ending Sept. 30.

That compares with a profit of $128,759 in the same quarter last year. Revenue in the quarter, the first of the company's fiscal year, was $7.68 million, up 12 percent from $6.83 million last year.

"Hadron is continuing to progress with its turnaround plans. Although we cannot now state a timetable for returning to profitability, we remain optimistic about Hadron's future," said James Arnold, the company's president.

Hadron supplies technical products and services in the fields of engineering, computer science, litigation support and data communications. Cerbco Inc., a Rockville holding company, lost $526,615 in its first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30.

Cerbco's Insituform East subsidiary, which rehabilitates pipelines, was profitable, but the company's two other subsidiaries, Cerberonics and Capital Copy Products Inc., lost money. Cerberonics is a defense supplier and Capital Copy sells and maintains facsimile machines and copiers.

Cerbco's loss compares with a $2,875 profit in the same quarter last year. Its revenue was $7.95 million compared with $9.37 million a year earlier.

VSE Corp., an Alexandria consulting company, reported that profit fell 14 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with the same quarter last year.

VSE's net income for the quarter was $389,000 (23 cents a share) compared with $453,000 (25 cents) a year earlier. Revenue was $26.38 million compared with $26.36 million.

VSE provides engineering, development, testing and management services to the federal government and other contractors.

Star Technologies, a Sterling, Va., computer maker, lost $256,000 in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

That compares with a loss of $1.35 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue in the quarter, the second of the company's fiscal year, was $7.85 million compared with $8.87 million a year earlier.

In May, the company announced a $15 million recapitalization. The money from that private equity placement was used to retire debt and for working capital to introduce new products.

The reduced debt meant the company's interest payments in the quarter were 72 percent less than a year earlier.

Star makes and sells high-speed scientific computers called array processors.

First Citizens Financial Corp. of Silver Spring, parent of Citizens Savings Bank, lost $3 million in the third quarter. That compares with a profit of $394,000 in the same quarter last year.

The company wrote off $4.3 million in bad loans, real estate and joint venture losses during the quarter ending Sept. 30. Before taking into account these losses and taxes, the company had an operating profit of $248,00 in the quarter.