* Visual Networks, a Rockville software company, said it earned $1.2 million (4 cents per share) in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $4 million (13 cents) in the same period the previous year. The company's revenue for the quarter fell to $14.8 million from $17.3 million. Shares of Visual Networks gained 9 cents yesterday to close at $2.07.

* Anteon International, a Fairfax information technology firm, said it was awarded a contract amendment with the U.S. Army worth $11.6 million. Under the one-year contract, Anteon will develop and install a data collection and monitoring tool for the Army's Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command at Fort Hood, Tex.

* The Maryland Technology Development Corp. said four companies were awarded $50,000 each under the organization's Navair Technology Commercialization Initiative. The awards were given to UniTech, Calvert Hydraulics, System Excelerator and RL Associates.

* Quantum Solutions, an Owings Mills, Md., information technology firm, said it is merging with Paragon Smart Technologies of Ellicott City. The new company will be named Quint Essential Technologies and will be based in Owings Mills. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. No layoffs are expected, and the new company will have 13 employees.

* Aether Systems of Owings Mills said it formed an alliance with systems integrator Electronic Data Systems to develop and market applications using Aether's wireless technology. The applications will support corporate and administrative operations for large businesses using wireless devices. In addition, EDS will use Aether's wireless applications in sales to industries with mobile workforces, including transportation, homeland security and other government agencies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones News Service.