Eutelsat: good news, and not so good

Eutelsat on July 4 announced that the Italian Space Agency would be cooperating with Eutelsat and its broadband distribution arm SkyLogic to boost connectivity throughout Italy by using Eutelsat’s new Ka-band satellite. The Agency is planning the progressive use of 550 Mbps of KA-SAT capacity across 10 spot-beams that together provide full coverage of Italian territory. The capacity will mainly be deployed to deliver broadband to Italian public administrations beyond range of terrestrial networks so that the benefits of ICT can be extended to citizens located in previously underserved regions.

That’s all good news and helps the take-up of the massive capacity available on Ka-Sat. The less good news is that another major investment bank has trimmed its advice to clients. Credit Suisse on July 4 cut its advice from “Outperform” to “Neutral”. This echoes a similar report two weeks ago by Societe General (“Hold” from “Buy”), and Royal Bank of Scotland which initiated coverage of Eutelsat with advice to investors saying “Hold” as far as their investments were concerned.

In fairness to Eutelsat they have enjoyed such blistering share performance over the past few months that it would have been quite amazing had their – seemingly – unstoppable rise in value continued. The banks have wisely reined their forecasts for further share price rises into more modest expectations.  But with a July 4 price of €30.90, and a 52-week low of €25.41, some investors have seen good profits. Incidentally, taking a 5-year view on Eutelsat’s performance and there must be plenty out there who have doubled and almost trebled their money – if they bought in back in 2006-7 when the share price was in the €12-€17 range.

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