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Viasat 1Q Report: Expected IFC Losses Offset by Strong Contract Awards

By | August 7, 2020
In-flight connectivity. Photo: ViaSat.

In flight connectivity. Photo: Viasat

Viasat is the latest to join a long list of satellite operators reporting quarterly losses that weren’t nearly as bad as analysts expected. Again, COVID-19 is the culprit, taking a bite out of the satellite and wireless operator’s 2021 first quarter revenue of $530.49 million. Viasat posted $537.04 million in revenues during the same period last year.

“Cost reduction actions taken early in the crisis supported margins in the quarter and are expected to create opportunities for sustained margin improvement,” Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg said in a letter to investors. “Our broad business portfolio is helping overcome the decline in commercial aircraft In-Flight Connectivity (IFC). Our Government Systems and fixed broadband businesses contributed to 8 percent year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA, and are anticipated to build momentum over the course of FY2021. Very strong awards, driving a record $2 billion contract backlog, plus another $3 billion in unawarded government IDIQ contract value, support this outlook.”

Viasat’s Commercial Networks business posted 1Q revenues of $67 million, a 15% drop from the same period last year. The decrease was due to contraction in the IFC market, with sales of commercial air equipment down more than 90% from the previous year. Viasat’s overall antenna systems business, however, posted a company record $165 million in awards for the quarter. Viasat’s Satellite Services fixed broadband business unit added approximately 9,000 net subscribers in the quarter.

Company earnings-per-share (EPS) were $0.03, again beating analysts projections of a loss of $0.06 during the quarter. This is the fourth consecutive fiscal quarter that Viasat has beaten market EPS and revenue forecasts.