* WebMethods, a Fairfax business software maker, said it lost $3.3 million (6 cents a share) in its second quarter, compared with a loss of $4.5 million (9 cents) in the same period a year earlier. The company's revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 4 grew to $51.2 million from $45.4 million in the year-earlier quarter. Shares of WebMethods, which reported results after markets closed yesterday, rose 15 cents, or 2.1 percent, to close at $7.20.

* Orbital Sciences, a Dulles space systems manufacturer, reported a 33 percent increase in third-quarter revenue, to $171.7 million, compared with $128.6 million during the same period last year. Profit was $11.4 million (18 cents a share), compared with a loss of $30.2 million (64 cents). Shares of Orbital closed at $10.90, up 34 cents, or 3.2 percent.

* United Defense Industries, an Arlington company that designs and develops combat vehicles, earned $52.2 million (99 cents a share) on $573.4 million in revenue during its third quarter, compared with a profit of $37.4 million (71 cents) on $507.9 million in revenue during the year-ago quarter. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company earned $134.9 million ($2.54) on $1.7 billion in revenue, compared with a net income of $111.8 million ($2.12) on $1.5 billion in revenue during the same period last year. Shares of United Defense closed up 53 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $39.38.

* TNS, a Reston data communications services company, earned $2.8 million (10 cents a share) on $64.6 million in revenue during its third quarter, compared with a profit of $1.5 million (a loss of 19 cents after preferred stock dividends) on $57.2 million in revenue during the year-ago quarter. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company earned $2.6 million (a loss of 4 cents) on $185.7 million in revenue, compared with a loss of $2 million ($1.06) on $162 million in revenue during the same period last year. Shares of TNS closed up 22 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $19.59.

* Vastera, a Dulles firm that makes software to help clients manage global trade, lost $1.2 million (3 cents a share) on $21.8 million in revenue during the third quarter, compared with a loss of $129,000 (0 cents) on $21.7 million in revenue during the same quarter last year. The company attributed the losses, in part, to losing a key client and difficulties closing large deals with existing and prospective customers.

* Anteon International, a Fairfax systems engineering company, won a five-year, $49 million contract to support the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory manufacturing technology programs. Anteon will provide integrated business, technical and program services to the division. Anteon was one of two companies awarded a contract.

* Global Exchange Services' majority shareholder will acquire two units of International Business Machines and plans to merge the operations. The merger would increase the business software firm's annual revenue to about $450 million, up from about $360 million, according to Carl Lehmann, an analyst with research firm Meta Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GXS's shareholder, Francisco Partners, said it expects the deal to close in the next six months. GXS, of Gaithersburg, sells a network and software service that allows companies and their vendors to monitor their inventory, shipment, payment and other information.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers.