Zacks Investment Research Upgrades ViaSat (VSAT) to “Hold”

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ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Viasat maintains a leading position in the satellite and wireless communications market. The company is eyeing opportunities to extend broadband satellite mobility to rotary wing aircraft as it is a large addressable market that can emerge as a key profit churner. Viasat is ramping up investments in the development of its revolutionary ViaSat-3 broadband communications platform, which will have nearly ten times the bandwidth capacity of ViaSat-2. An increased footprint in the U.K. defense market augurs well for the company. However, the stock has underperformed the industry in the past three months on an average. Viasat operates in a highly competitive market which includes stalwarts from varied industries. The company’s Satellite Services segment is affected by seasonality of demand due to traditional retail selling periods. It anticipates incurring huge R&D expenses related to the commercial launch of Viasat-3 satellites.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on VSAT. ValuEngine upgraded shares of ViaSat from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of ViaSat from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of ViaSat from a “d+” rating to a “c-” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. ViaSat has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.38.

NASDAQ VSAT traded up $0.78 during trading on Monday, hitting $61.34. The company had a trading volume of 8,451 shares, compared to its average volume of 415,885. The company has a current ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. ViaSat has a one year low of $59.16 and a one year high of $80.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.81 billion, a PE ratio of -71.37 and a beta of 0.81.

ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 9th. The communications equipment provider reported ($0.57) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.50) by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $438.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $429.75 million. ViaSat had a negative return on equity of 3.97% and a negative net margin of 5.58%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.04 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that ViaSat will post -1.66 earnings per share for the current year.

In other ViaSat news, EVP Keven K. Lippert sold 1,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.28, for a total transaction of $101,248.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 93 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,885.04. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Richard A. Baldridge sold 31,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.23, for a total transaction of $2,004,391.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 61,700 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,901,291. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 39,800 shares of company stock valued at $2,518,929. 8.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Partners Capital Investment Group LLP increased its stake in ViaSat by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. Partners Capital Investment Group LLP now owns 437,707 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $28,766,000 after purchasing an additional 31,123 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its holdings in shares of ViaSat by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 104,858 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $6,891,000 after acquiring an additional 1,089 shares during the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. boosted its holdings in shares of ViaSat by 78.6% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 20,120 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,322,000 after acquiring an additional 8,854 shares during the last quarter. Sylebra HK Co Ltd boosted its holdings in shares of ViaSat by 158.6% during the 2nd quarter. Sylebra HK Co Ltd now owns 1,304,806 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $85,752,000 after acquiring an additional 800,248 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Firsthand Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of ViaSat by 100.0% during the 2nd quarter. Firsthand Capital Management Inc. now owns 80,000 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $5,258,000 after acquiring an additional 40,000 shares during the last quarter.

ViaSat Company Profile

Viasat, Inc provides broadband and communications products and services worldwide. The company's Satellite Services segment offers satellite-based fixed broadband services, including broadband Internet access and voice over Internet protocol services to consumers and businesses; in-flight Internet and aviation software services to commercial airlines; and mobile broadband services comprising network management and high-speed Internet connectivity services for customers using airborne, maritime, and ground mobile satellite systems.

Further Reading: Diversification

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