Viasat (VSAT) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Viasat maintains a leading position in the satellite and wireless communications market. With rapid proliferation of the smartphone market and usage of mobile broadband, the user demand for coverage speed and quality has increased, fueling the demand for network tuning and optimization to maintain high data traffic. The company continues to attract millions of unserved and under-served U.S. consumers and enterprises through its high-quality broadband service. However, the stock has underperformed the industry in the last three months. Viasat’s earnings have been hurt in recent times, as the company ramped up expenses ahead of offering subscribers service with its new high-speed satellite. Strong growth in government business revenues is being offset by contraction in Satellite Services. Also, the company’s revenue growth has been strained owing to its capacity constraints.”

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Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub raised Viasat from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Viasat in a report on Friday, December 15th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $78.00 price objective for the company. Barclays downgraded Viasat from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and set a $75.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, March 29th. JPMorgan Chase increased their price objective on Viasat from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $52.00 price objective on Viasat and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, March 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $73.90.

VSAT stock opened at $62.54 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $3,722.16, a PE ratio of 107.83, a PEG ratio of 127.62 and a beta of 0.87. Viasat has a twelve month low of $57.75 and a twelve month high of $80.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 1.21.

Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The communications equipment provider reported ($0.04) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.01. The business had revenue of $381.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $392.99 million. Viasat had a negative return on equity of 1.13% and a negative net margin of 2.59%. The company’s revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.29 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Viasat will post -1.16 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Nash sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.65, for a total transaction of $145,300.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director John P. Stenbit sold 700 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.86, for a total value of $48,902.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 10,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $719,558. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 7,387 shares of company stock valued at $528,028. Corporate insiders own 7.70% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Swift Run Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Viasat during the fourth quarter worth $204,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Viasat by 54.2% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,809 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $210,000 after purchasing an additional 987 shares during the period. Iberiabank Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Viasat during the fourth quarter worth $225,000. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Viasat during the fourth quarter worth $241,000. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. purchased a new position in Viasat in the fourth quarter worth $271,000. 99.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Viasat

Viasat, Inc provides broadband and communications products and services worldwide. The company's Satellite Services segment offers fixed broadband services, including broadband Internet access and voice over Internet protocol services under the Exede and WildBlue brands to consumers and businesses; in-flight Internet and aviation software services to commercial airlines; mobile broadband services comprising network management and high-speed Internet connectivity services for customers using airborne, maritime, and ground mobile satellite systems; and enterprise broadband services.

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