Intelsat’s results are not that different from its two giant competitors, SES and Eutelsat. Each of the three are in for a tough year ahead with – at best – flat prospects, and bandwidth contract renewal prices under pressure.
However, Intelsat’s stock price is always highly volatile and its February 26th results disappointed the market which drove its share price down 11.9 per cent following CEO Steven Spengler’s results update on trading to December 31st 2017 and admission that the upcoming year would see revenues in the $2.06-$2.11 billion range, which is down on 2017’s revenues of $2.14 billion.
Spengler was more optimistic that Intelsat’s important government business was returning to health, and that renewal business for this year was likely to be better than in 2017.
He also said how pleased Intelsat was that SES would be joining its proposal (with Intelsat) for the FCC to grant access to some C-band frequencies to help the roll-out of 5G services in the US. “We think SES joining our proposal is a significant step forward. You now have the two largest licensed providers at C-band services in the US together on this initiative and we represent 90 per cent to 95 per cent of the C-band operational revenues right now and so, it’s meaningful. We were very encouraged that Eutelsat has also indicated their support and interest to join the efforts. So, I think bringing the satellite operators together is a good indication and we welcome other satellite operators to join us as well. Ultimately, we’re all going to have to follow the direction of the FCC and their rule-making, but it is just better that we are united and together at the early stages.”
Spengler said dialogue with cellular operators was positive. “We’ve said that we expect that we could make the spectrum available within 18 months to 36 months after a rule-making by FCC, which is far faster than any government managed process. So, expediency is a key element of what we’re offering. We really see this is as a win-win for all the parties.”