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Why Shares of ViaSat Are Higher on Friday

Lou Whiteman, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of ViaSat (NASDAQ: VSAT) climbed more than 7% on Friday, trading up more than 10% in early trading, after the satellite communications company reported fourth-quarter results that came in well ahead of expectations. The quarter was enough to cause at least one Wall Street analyst to raise his price target on the stock.

So what

ViaSat after markets closed Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $2.5 million, or $0.04 per share, on revenue of $557.2 million. The results exceeded consensus expectations for a $0.28 loss on revenue of $544 million.

A satellite dish in front of a sunset.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company provides satellite-based Wi-Fi for JetBlue Airways and others as well as communications services for a range of commercial and government customers. CEO Mark Dankberg in a statement called fiscal 2019 "a pivotal year for ViaSat," as investments in new technologies position the company to pursue additional business.

"We are energized by the opportunities before us in fiscal year 2020 that are enabled by our unique, highly integrated technology and business approach," Dankberg said.

Now what

Needham analyst Richard Valera raised his ViaSat price target to $100 from $78 following the results, saying the company came in ahead of expectations across the board. He sees opportunities for revenue and EBITDA to grow in 2020 thanks to services including in-flight service and enterprise contracts.

Investors have taken notice, sending shares of ViaSat up more than 60% year to date. It's now up to the company to generate results worthy of that lofty altitude.

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Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends JetBlue Airways. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.