CONTRACTS

Satellite Program to Exceed Budget

A Lockheed Martin satellite program will exceed its budget again, the Air Force told Congress yesterday. The Space Based Infrared System High, known as SBIRS-High, is intended to be part of the missile warning system and has been in development since 1996. The Air Force letter did not give an updated program cost, but its five satellites were recently expected to cost about $2 billion each, according to the Government Accountability Office. It would be the latest of several cost increases in major weapons programs that have raised concerns in Congress.

It is unclear how much the overall cost of the program, currently estimated at $9.9 billion, including research and development, will increase. Lockheed declined to comment.

EARNINGS

WebMethods' First-Quarter Loss Narrows

WebMethods, a Fairfax business software firm, narrowed its first-quarter loss to $514,000 (1 cent a share), compared with a $10.8 million loss (20 cents) in the corresponding period last year. The company's revenue rose to $47.7 million from $41.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Shares of WebMethods fell 3 cents to close at $6.04.

Comstock Homebuilding Profit Up

Comstock Homebuilding of Reston said it had a second-quarter profit of $3.1 million (26 cents a share), up slightly from $3 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

Revenue was $39.9 million, up from $31.1 million. The company delivered 123 new homes in the quarter at an average per unit rate of $322,000, compared with 88 new homes at an average per unit rate of $331,000 in the corresponding period a year ago.

Subscription Growth Lifts Intersections

Intersections, a provider of credit card management and identity-theft detection services, reported an 11 percent gain in second-quarter profit on strong growth in subscribers.

The Chantilly company said it earned $3.2 million (18 cents a share), compared with $2.9 million (17 cents) in the corresponding period a year ago. Revenue was $40.8 million, compared with $40.2 million.

DiamondRock REIT Posts Loss

DiamondRock Hospitality, a real estate investment trust that owns hotels, reported its first results since its $288.7 million initial public offering in May.

The Bethesda company said funds from operations, a common measure of REIT performance, came in at a net loss of $1.5 million (5 cents a share) for the second quarter ended June 17. After adjusting for non-cash ground rent and initial public offering stock grants, funds for operations totaled $3.8 million (13 cents). The hotel owner reported a net loss of $5.8 million (20 cents) for the quarter.

NewMarket Gains After Insurance Settlement

NewMarket, a maker of petroleum additives, reported a 15 percent gain in second-quarter profit due to a $2.5 million insurance settlement.

The Richmond company said it had a profit of $13.1 million (76 cents a share), compared with $11.4 million (66 cents) in the corresponding period a year ago. Excluding the settlement, profit was $10.6 million (62 cents).

Revenue was $271.8 million, up from $221.5 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

WebMethods employees create the firm's business software.