Can Astronics deliver a breakout in its AeroSat division? The company is doubling down on the BizAv segment in hopes of delivering a huge sales win for its antenna systems, thanks to a new partnership and marketing push.
Global Eagle posted strong revenue numbers in Q3, with its content and aviation connectivity segments showing particular strength. The company also announced a couple "take away" deals that see it grabbing business from competitors. Those moves come at a cost, however, especially on the connectivity side. The increased revenue from these deals over the long term is welcome but a short term cash crunch could be bad for business.
Inmarsat reported a jump in inflight connectivity revenue in Q3, continuing the activation and growth of its GX Aviation solution on aircraft around the world. The numbers suggest additional frames are finally generating revenue, a welcome advance for the company after the first such income was generated just last quarter. Inmarsat also disclosed that at least two recently announced customer wins remain as unsigned, lending credibility to claims that the deals are not yet final. The company also outlined additional details on how it expects the Panasonic partnership to grow.
Two stories should deliver a net boost for Global Eagle headed into Thursday's earnings release. They are not both good news (and one remains unconfirmed), but the positive outweighs the negative significantly.
Gogo revised its expectations for 2020 and beyond, announcing updated goals as the company continues its drive towards profitability. Alas, details on those revised targets will not be shared with investors. CEO Oakleigh Thorne shared that the new math takes into account "more realistic expectations" of satellite costs and the shift to the airline-directed model. Assuming the new numbers are part of the Q3 '18 numbers they should help the company significantly, though there are indications some parts of the operation could revert to higher costs. The inability for global revenue to keep pace with growth in North America is also concerning given the company's current backlog.
Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) received approval this week from Belgian telecom authorities for its ground component service. Again. That's good news for the inflight connectivity provider as it works to secure the necessary regulatory approvals across Europe in advance of service launch, still expected later this year. It is a setback for Viasat, Eutelsat, and Panasonic Avionics as they fight the EAN deployment through legal and regulatory battles.
Gogo posted better than anticipated numbers for Q2 '18 this morning, giving the company's share price a nice boost in early morning trading, though it has since given back some of the gains. The business aviation segment continues to lead the company's fortunes but some glimmers of success in the commercial segments are showing, too. So long as American Airlines is excluded from all considerations.
The push for US airlines to better monetize their loyalty programs continues to grow. But don't expect it to happen any time soon. Airline executives continue to push back – strongly – against such suggestions from Wall Street analysts. The most recent such conversation, during American Airlines' Q2 2018 earnings call CEO Doug Parker was aggressive in explaining why his airline will not be considering such. The co-brand relationship with the credit card is simply too strong.
Inmarsat reported its first half financial results this morning in London with one surprising bit of data: The GX commercial aviation service finally started generating airtime revenue is Q2 '18, more than a year after entering service on some commercial aircraft.
A spike in aviation-related revenue is good news for Inmarsat but not all revenue is created equally. There's more to this story than just the raw numbers.