MeriStar Hospitality of Arlington, a hotel real estate investment trust, lost $26.8 million (31 cents a share) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 on $190.8 million in revenue. MeriStar lost $50.7 million ($1.05) on $182.9 million in revenue in the comparable quarter last year.
Excluding rooms taken out of service for renovations and because of Florida hurricanes, the company said, its revenue per available room was up 7.6 percent, to $70.13, mostly because of higher room rates. It said its Washington area hotels did especially well.
The company said it continued to spend heavily to renovate its hotels. Funds from operations were a negative $661,000, compared with a negative $23.7 million a year earlier. The company's stock closed at $5.92, down 8 cents.
* Saul Centers Inc., a Bethesda-based real estate investment trust, said its profit for the third quarter was $7.4 million, up from $5 million in the same period a year earlier. It said profit available to common stockholders rose to 33 cents from 32 cents, and funds from operations rose to $14.3 million from $11.6 million.
Revenue for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was up 18 percent, to $29 million from $24.7 million. The company released its quarterly report after markets closed.
* Aether Systems Inc. of Owings Mills reported a loss of $3.7 million (9 cents a share) in its third quarter, its first as a mortgage-backed securities company. In the same quarter last year, when the company was still in the wireless-services business, it lost $9.9 million (23 cents). Most of the company's $3.3 million in operating expenses in the quarter ended Sept. 30 were due to its transition to a financial services firm, the company said. It said it expects its revenue to rise as its transition is complete. Aether released its quarterly report after markets closed.
* Lafarge North America Inc. of Herndon, a major supplier of construction materials such as cement, reported a profit of $165.6 million ($2.16 a share) for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, down from a profit of $225.3 million ($3.04) in the year-earlier quarter.
The company said its earnings would have improved were it not for $78 million in divestment gains and discontinued operations in the third quarter last year. The company, which released its quarterly report after markets closed, is part of the international Lafarge Group.