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    Orbital Sciences sees profits grow even as revenue shrinks

    Orbital Sciences has announced net income growth for the second quarter of 2014, even though sales dropped 4.5 percent.

    The company, which manufactures and launches satellites for commercial and governmental operations, saw a dip in sales as a result of slow-moving lucrative satellite contracts.

    A majority of the company's net income came from its launch vehicles segment which was bolstered by missile interceptor defense systems.

    "While revenues were down due to the delayed start of several satellite contracts, the quarter's adjusted earnings per share and year-to-date free cash flow were well ahead of last year's results," said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital's chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement.

    Thompson added that a $5-million merger with Alliant Techsystems' Aerospace and Defense Groups would be hopefully finalized by the end of the year.

    Both companies stand to gain from the merger, with Orbital adding a partner who can grab government contracts, and ATK gaining an expert satellite and missile interceptor partner.

    Just five days ago the company launched their Cygnus spacecraft, headed for the International Space Station.

    Contracts on launches to the International Space Station propelled the company to a record quarter at the end of 2013.

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