On The Block

Astrotech Corp. (Nasdaq: ASTC) is preparing to launch into the next phase of its business and its board has hired Lazard Ltd. to help with review of options for the space-research company. Astrotech is considering everything from a sale of the entire company to making acquisitions of its own. It is also looking into the sale of some assets, along with other possible financial and business alternatives. The Austin, Texas-based owner and operator of spacecraft pre-launch facilities earned $4.7 million on revenue of $32 million for the year ended June 30, 2009. This is the first year-end profit Astrotech has reported since fiscal 2005. For fiscal 2008, it generated a loss of $39.4 million on revenue of $25.5 million.

In a bid to shift its focus on consumer businesses, Nautilus Inc. (NYSE:NLS) is exploring strategic alternatives for certain business assets. The fitness equipment maker is seeking buyers for its commercial assets, along with related liabilities and operations. The Vancouver, Wash.-based company is considering the sales of its commercial business as single entity, or as separate assets. Some of the assets on the block include a manufacturing plant and three warehouses in Virginia, the StairMaster cardiovascular equipment brand, and the Nautilus ONE strength product line. The company’s second quarter sales fell 36.4 percent to $60.8 million from $95.6 million a year earlier.

Admiral Bay Resources Inc.’s board has hired FIG Partners LLC’s Energy Research & Capital Group to help with a review of strategic alternatives. A couple of the options include merger opportunities and restructuring of the Admiral Bay’s credit facility. The Centennial, Colo.-based gas production company doesn’t plan to discuss the review process until the board approves a transaction or alternative. Admiral Bay has development projects in the Cherokee Basin in southeast Kansas and the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania. For the second quarter ended Jan. 31, the company’s revenue rose 8 percent to $1.3 million from a year earlier. The increase reflects improved gas production.

Maine & Maritimes Corp. (NYSE: MAM) denied rumors that it is for sale, but said it has hired KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. as a financial adviser to help explore and evaluate strategic alternatives. The Presque Isle, Maine-based company doesn’t plan to comment on the process until its board decides on a course of action. Maine & Maritime is the parent of an electric utility that serves northern Maine. It also owns another business that provides transmission line and substation design and construction services. For the second quarter ended June 30, losses widened to $411,000 from $68,000 a year earlier, and total revenue fell to $7.7 million from $9.9 million.