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PanAmSat profits shrink

    PanAmSat Corp. (Nasdaq: SPOT) said Tuesday that third quarter earnings were 6 cents a share, a penny less that First Call Corp.'s expectations, and much lower than the 23 cent-per-share profit the company reported for the same period in 1999.

    The company said earnings were hurt by a payment associated with the termination of a service agreement in India.

    Shares in the provider of a satellite-based Internet broadcast network, which is an affiliate of General Motors Corp.'s Hughes Electronics Corp. (NYSE: GMH), closed down 0.06 to 29.13 Monday, well off their 52-week high of 74.25.

    Total revenue was $199.3 million, a decrease of 5 percent from the same period in 1999, also due to the one-time customer payment of $15 million associated with the termination of a video services agreement in India.

    The company's EBITDA (earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2000, also decreased year-over-year to $135.5 million, compared to EBITDA of $154.3 million for the same period in 1999. The company's results were hurt by an increase in operating costs as a result of the company's continued fleet expansion, additional staffing to support expected growth, and a one-time charge associated with a sale of real estate.

    PanAmSat added that major developments for the quarter which should boost long-term growth. Its NET-36, a satellite-based Internet broadcast network already has several customers, including ABC, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Disney, ESPN, and Hollywood.com. The company also recorded substantial new orders that have contributed to a robust backlog.