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Satellite stocks sink on Eutelsat warning

Eutelsat shares crashed 30.7 per cent on the Paris bourse following their profits warning. Eutelsat’s fall from grace was not helped by a slew of negative comments from equity analysts. Typical was Barclays, which said: “Such a heavy hit to forecasts, coming from across the applications, will knock confidence in the story,” which downgraded Eutelsat to “equal-weight” from “overweight” and slashing its target price to €22 from €31.

SES also tumbled almost 8 per cent in highly volatile trading, while London-based Inmarsat also crashed 3 per cent despite having been under its own pressures this past week or two. In fact Inmarsat has lost some £780 million of market capitalisation since May 4th.

One analyst (from Berenberg) described the Eutelsat profits warning a “terrible indictment of the global satellite services industry”, and used the occasion to recommend a ’BUY’ on SES stock which has had its own problems this past year but now is seemingly coming out of the doldrums. Berenberg said: “Eutelsat’s warning focused on a combination of company-specific issues and already known industry trends. The latter are already factored into SES guidance and our estimates. In our view there is nothing materially new in what Eutelsat said, at least as it relates to SES.”

Analysts at Exane-BNP/Paribas downgraded Eutelsat from ‘Outperform’ to ‘Neutral’ and slashed its target price on Eutelsat to just €22 (Eutelsat shares were trading Friday at €18.85).

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