Trying to communicate with uneasy investors, Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles released preliminary third-quarter results yesterday, reporting losses of $32.6 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Revenue for the quarter was $248.9 million.

For the same period a year ago, Orbital reported net income of $8.6 million (21 cents a share) on revenue of $193.5 million.

However, the company couldn't make an accurate year-to-year comparison because the satellite maker will be restating financial results for the past 10 quarters. Orbital executives said they expect to have final numbers for the quarter later this month.

The company's stock closed at $14 a share, up by slightly more than 3 percent.

Although most analysts maintain that Orbital's fundamental business operations are strong, the company has continued to surprise--and disappoint--analysts and investors. It restated earnings last spring, for example.

Recently, the company appointed Timothy J. Perrott as vice president of investor relations and last week appointed Hollis Thompson as controller. Earlier this month the company appointed a new president. But analysts are frustrated with the company's lack of management infrastructure.

"They really need to take the depth of management to a new level," said Mark Crossman, an analyst at J.P. Morgan & Co.

Orbital board member John L. McLucas, a former executive of Comsat Corp. in Bethesda, said the new president, J. R. Thompson (none of the Thompsons are related), will help.

"I think Dave was probably overloaded and this will give him some help," McLucas said.

* CarrAmerica Realty Corp., a D.C. company that owns office buildings nationally, reported that rising rents improved results on a per-share basis in the third quarter.

CarrAmerica's funds from operations for the quarter, the most common gauge of real estate company results, were flat at $49.4 million, but because the company has less stock outstanding than a year ago, per share results rose to 73 cents from 68 cents a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter was $194.73 million, up 18 percent from $164.99 million. Net income was $39.39 million (45 cents a share), up 8 percent from $36.38 million (37 cents).

For the first nine months of the year, funds from operations was $147.05 million ($2.13), up 10 percent from $134.14 million ($1.96) in the same period last year. Revenue was $549.58 million, up 28 percent from $429.1 million. Net income was $115.97 million ($1.31), up almost 5 percent from $111 million ($1.25).