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Intelsat (I) to Enhance Indonesia's Broadband Capabilities

Zacks Equity Research

Intelsat S.A. I recently secured a plum contract for an undisclosed amount from PT. Aplikanusa Lintasarta to augment the broadband capabilities of Indonesia. Lintasarta is a data communication and IT services provider in the Asian nation. The deal will facilitate the fourth largest populous country in the world to offer reliable, consistent and affordable connectivity to the masses, thereby fulfilling the government initiative of developing a digitally inclusive society by 2023.

Per the five-year agreement, Lintasarta will leverage two of Intelsat’s high-throughput satellites – Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e – to offer unmatched data and voice coverage across the Asia Pacific and Pacific Ocean region. The satellites utilize C-, Ku- and Ka-bands, and wide beams to provide a host of customer-centric benefits and deliver high-throughput technology without sacrificing user control of service elements and hardware.

Based on an open architecture, the satellites are programed to work on Intelsat EpicNG platform that delivers carrier-grade, dedicated high-throughput capacity with three to five times more capacity than the traditional fleet. Consequently, the satellites will offer unrivalled efficiency levels with high resiliency and redundancy for a wide range of applications and bandwidth requirements.

The Indonesian government aims to foster social development and accelerate equitable economic growth by connecting 150,000 sites across the country by the end of 2023. The collaboration of Intelsat with Lintasarta is a positive step in this regard.

Intelsat aims to leverage its expansive ground networks, growing managed services platform and strong government and commercial business relationships to improve its top line. At the same time, the company intends to lead the industry through seamless integration of satellite-based telecommunication solutions with the global telecommunications infrastructure. It is focusing more on software-defined satellite designs to lower costs and streamline manufacturing process.

The company is specifically targeting lower capital investments over a three-year period from 2018 due to replacement of bigger satellites with smaller ones. Incorporating innovative designs, the new fleet will enable the company to remain commercially flexible, maintain a strong competitive position at lower operating costs.

However, increased uncertainty over the implementation of its policy goals, including the launch of newly-designed satellites has clouded the earnings picture. Earnings estimates for the company have decreased 56.8% over the past year and are currently pegged at a loss of $2.90. Year to date, the stock has declined 9% while the industry has rallied 2.6%.


 

Intelsat currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Ubiquiti Networks Inc. UBNT, Harris Corporation HRS and Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Ubiquiti has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 19.8%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 22.3%.  

Harris has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 3%.
       
Motorola has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 7.7%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 9.1%.

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