Viasat Modifies Initial ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch Contract

Zacks Equity Research

Viasat, Inc. VSAT, which has a long-standing partnership with Arianespace — a satellite launch company — has recently announced of modifying their initial ViaSat-3 satellite launch contract, inked back in 2016.

According to the new agreement, the two firms have decided to move the ViaSat-3 satellite from an Ariane 5 launch vehicle to Ariane 64 (A64) launcher. With this, Viasat will become the first commercial customer to launch on the A64.

The latest move completes the satellite and wireless networking technology provider’s integrated launch strategy, which is designed to bring an on-time launch to all of the ViaSat-3 spacecraft through launch vehicle diversity.

Markedly, Arianespace will launch the ViaSat-3 satellite from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The A64’s configuration will likely provide added performance to deliver a ViaSat-3 satellite into a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit.

Arianespace’s A64 launcher will likely enable Viasat to meet key business objectives, which include bringing high-speed, high-quality broadband connectivity to end-users, around the globe. The A64 vehicle is a highly competitive launcher and has key features to ensure a more cost-effective, dependable ViaSat-3 spacecraft launch.

Moreover, the ViaSat-3 class of Ka-band satellites is expected to provide unparalleled capabilities in terms of service speed and flexibility for a satellite platform. While the first two satellites will focus on the Americas and on Europe, Middle East and Africa, respectively, the third one is planned for the APAC region, completing Viasat's global service coverage.

Each ViaSat-3 satellite is likely to deliver more than 1-Terabit per second of network capacity, and leverage high levels of flexibility. Viasat is also ramping up investments in the development of its revolutionary ViaSat-3 broadband communications platform, which will boast nearly ten times the bandwidth capacity of ViaSat-2.

The ViaSat-3 platform will help to form a global broadband network with sufficient network capacity to allow better consumer choices with an affordable, high-quality, high-speed Internet and video streaming service. Momentous market traction of ViaSat-1 and ViaSat-2 satellites, coupled with strategically planned ViaSat 3 satellites, are expected to provide the company with a solid competitive edge over its peers, thereby bolstering growth in the long-run.

Driven by diligent execution of business strategies, shares of Viasat have rallied 47.6% compared with the industry’s rise of 16.2% in the year-to-date period.

Viasat currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the industry include Juniper Networks, Inc. JNPR, Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI and Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. UBNT, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Juniper has long-term earnings growth expectation of 6.2%.

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Ubiquiti has long-term earnings growth expectation of 19.8%.

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