Zacks Investment Research Downgrades ViaSat (VSAT) to Sell

ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “ViaSat’s financials have been hurt by escalating research and development costs, and costs related to the ViaSat-2 service launch activities in recent times. High R&D and ramp-up costs remain a major headwind to the company’s margins in the near term. Persistent weakness in the Commercial Networks segment, seasonality of demand, strong competition and huge rise in R&D expenses continue to be overhangs for the company’s profitability. Moreover, seasonality in satellite service segment as well as strong competition continues to be headwinds for the company. Although the company’s acquisition strategy has significant long-term impact, they give rise to integration risks in the near term. However, steady growth in in-flight connectivity services, mobile broadband, consumer ARPU gains and cost-reduction initiatives proved conducive to growth.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on VSAT. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on ViaSat from $50.00 to $48.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 5th. B. Riley restated a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on shares of ViaSat in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Needham & Company LLC upgraded ViaSat from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, November 10th. BidaskClub cut ViaSat from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, December 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on ViaSat in a report on Friday, December 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $78.00 target price on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.75.

Shares of ViaSat (NASDAQ VSAT) opened at $76.44 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,451.64, a PE ratio of -364.00 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 1.71 and a current ratio of 2.26. ViaSat has a twelve month low of $57.75 and a twelve month high of $76.69.

ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The communications equipment provider reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $393.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $401.83 million. ViaSat had a positive return on equity of 0.13% and a negative net margin of 0.75%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.40 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that ViaSat will post -0.98 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director John P. Stenbit sold 700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.40, for a total value of $45,780.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 10,300 shares in the company, valued at $673,620. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Keven K. Lippert sold 1,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.20, for a total value of $83,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 2,949 shares in the company, valued at $204,070.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 20,400 shares of company stock worth $1,486,717 over the last quarter. 7.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VSAT. Disciplined Growth Investors Inc. MN lifted its stake in ViaSat by 109.3% in the second quarter. Disciplined Growth Investors Inc. MN now owns 1,148,694 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $76,044,000 after buying an additional 599,752 shares during the period. Hood River Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in ViaSat in the second quarter valued at approximately $29,147,000. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI acquired a new position in ViaSat in the second quarter valued at approximately $28,948,000. Odey Asset Management Group Ltd lifted its stake in ViaSat by 23.2% in the second quarter. Odey Asset Management Group Ltd now owns 2,148,954 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $142,261,000 after buying an additional 404,251 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in ViaSat in the second quarter valued at approximately $18,403,000. 99.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About ViaSat

ViaSat, Inc is engaged in broadband technologies and services. The Company operates through three segments: satellite services, commercial networks and government systems. The satellite services segment provides satellite-based broadband services to consumers, enterprises, commercial airlines and mobile broadband customers primarily in the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT)

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