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GeoEye’s Market Diversity Helps Company Avoid First-Quarter Shortfall

By | May 11, 2011
      [Satellite TODAY Insider 05-11-11] Geospatial information solutions company GeoEye reported better-than-expected 2011 first quarter financial results and raised its 2011 full-year guidance, the company announced May 10. The news comes much to the surprise of analysts who were expecting the company to produce results that were in-line with its market competitor, DigitalGlobe.
                  GeoEye’s first quarter revenues grew 7.8 percent to $86.6 million – on par with market consensus forecasts of $87.9 million. While GeoEye’s adjusted EBITDA remained flat at $43.8 million compared to the same period in 2010, the results were 5.8 percent above analysts’ projections of $41.4 million. DigitalGlobe reported disappointing results in its earnings report issued last week, which led investors to believe that GeoEye would suffer the same market impact, according to Raymond James Analyst Chris Quilty.
      “How did GeoEye dodge the bullet while DigitalGlobe was forced to lower its full-year revenue guidance by 3.5 percent? For one, GeoEye had already incorporated the impact of the ongoing [U.S. congressional] continuing budget resolution in its guidance and proffered a ‘worst-case scenario’ that assumed the resolution would continue for the remainder of 2011,” Quilty told Satellite TODAY Insider. “Secondly, GeoEye draws a greater portion of its revenue and growth from the defense and intelligence sectors, in contrast with DigitalGlobe, which is more dependent on the commercial sector.”
      The company’s first quarter performance allowed GeoEye President and CEO Matt O’Connell to raise the low end of his company’s revenue guidance by $5 million to a range of $365 million to 380 million and adjusted EBITDA to a range of $175-185 million.
      “We have continued our focus on the successful execution of our multi-billion-dollar EnhancedView award; the commercial deployment of our Web dissemination services platform, EyeQ; and the integration of our GeoEye Analytics business. We are very pleased with the competitive position we have in our government, commercial and international markets and with the revenue visibility that we have into the remainder of the year,” O’Connell said in a statement.
      GeoEye’s imagery segment beat analysts’ estimates by 2.2 percent. Quilty said the balance of the company’s upside performance came from international production. “From a geographic standpoint, international revenues were down 4.9 percent, however, excluding a one-time benefit the company received during the first quarter of 2010, international revenues were up 8.2 percent.”

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