I know its not the best time to be talking stocks, but looking at today’s market menu, there are some attractive satellite stocks available for low prices. I have been following a few but have been surprised at the lack of activity or movement in the market. Keep in mind that I am not a financial analyst. I would like to get a feel of what investors are doing out there.
Let’s go over some of today’s blue plate/chip specials:
You can get Dish Network for $15.75 per share, on sale from its $50 dollar value peak in November 2007. How long will it stay this low?
Echostar hit a low price of $18.50 a share last week. In March 2007, it was worth twice as much.
ViaSat on the Nasdaq is at $18.75. Three months ago, it was at $28 per share.
Are investors still a little nervous? Are they waiting for national election results? Have you invested in any satellite-related stocks?
John Dvorak over at MarketWatch, suspects that something is fishy about Comcast’s push for 50 Mbps Internet service, echoing a hunch of mine that the cable internet service has already stretched its infrastructure and bandwidth to the max.
“A few months back, Comcast announced that it would impose a monthly 250 GB usage limit on its users. I personally think this is a lot of usage, but I don’t know for a fact since Comcast doesn’t actually tell its users how many bits they use a month. This in itself makes the whole usage cap seem fishy to me. Something is up.” – John C. Dvorak, MarketWatch
This brings up an interesting question – Do you think dissatisfaction over Comcast’s Internet service, especially if there are limits to its bandwidth, will open the door to satellite Internet providers or fiber networks in the more populated markets? Let’s take into consideration the growing demand for Internet movie downloads and other bandwidth-devouring media. How much longer can Comcast and DSL services dominate this market?
DigitalGlobe, a satellite imaging company, filed paperwork in April to sell stock on the New York Stock Exchange. At the time of the filing, the company claimed that it would use the proceeds from the public offering to build a satellite for launch in fall 2009, the WorldView-2 orbiter, estimated to cost $283 million. Unfortunately, it turned to Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers to handle the offering.
With Morgan Stanley in Chapter 11 and confidence in investment banks at an all-time low, it is uncertain whether DigitalGlobe will go through with its public offering. Combine that with the fact that investment banks own $20 million of DigitalGlobe’s debt and you have a very uncertain future for DigitalGlobe on the stock exchange.
Will DigitalGlobe go public, or wait it out? What does this new economic climate mean for emerging companies?
As I interview executives and analysts in the satellite industry, one issue keeps popping up in tangent conversations — the age issue. But there is little agreement on the exact nature of the problem.
The range of issues includes:
1. More than a few executives have noted that they are worried about “carrying over the excitement and enthusiasm” of the satellite industry because a large portion of consultants and executives are either nearing retirement or being pulled out of it.
2. Boeing released a study this year stating that the average age of an aerospace engineer is 54. Even more surprising is that 80 percent of engineers and industry personnel said they would not recommend the industry to their children.
3. Recruiting companies have confirmed in interviews that retired engineers and executives continue to be in demand and that 30-plus years of experience is becoming a prerequisite for a majority of senior positions.
4. I have heard the phrase “the space industry isn’t sexy anymore,” at least a dozen times by more than a handful of people.
Is there a lack of youth in the satellite industry? If so, how will the age gap affect the industry and what can it do to fix this problem?