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Iridium (IRDM) to Acquire Satelles for Secure PNT Services

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Iridium Communications (IRDM - Free Report) announced the acquisition of a leading provider of secure satellite-based time and location services — Satelles. The acquisition aligns with Iridium's strategy of investing in advanced technologies that excel within its network.

The satellite-based time and location service is called Satellite Time and Location (STL). This service enhances the reliability and security of timing systems for digital infrastructure such as 5G base stations and data centers, safeguarding against vulnerabilities in GPS and other navigation systems.

The acquisition is aimed at catering to the evolving market for assured Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) services. Per a report from Spherical Insights, the global assured PNT market size is expected to exceed $3.5 Billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 24.2% from 2022 to 2032.

STL utilizes Iridium's satellite constellation to deliver precise timing information globally, which offers superior resilience to GNSS outages and indoor operation. The acquisition aims to make this solution more accessible and cost-effective for integration into various sectors, including autonomous systems, consumer devices, and traditional markets like aviation and maritime. 

After the acquisition, Iridium will gain full control over Satelles's patent portfolio and anticipates significant revenue growth from the STL business line, projecting more than $100 million in service revenues annually by 2030, added Iridium. Iridium held three prior investments totaling almost 20% percent of the company's equity. Iridium will pay roughly $115 million, net of cash still in the company, for the remaining roughly 80%, which will be funded by adding a tack-on to its term loan. Iridium anticipates finishing the purchase in the upcoming weeks.

By leveraging its Low-Earth-Orbit satellite network, Iridium provides weather-resilient L-band connectivity and global coverage compared to geostationary systems. Over the past five years, the company's subscriber base witnessed a 15% CAGR. The company is likely to witness increasing adoption of its mid-band as well as benefit from the introduction of a new IoT transceiver late in 2024.

Recently, the company unveiled Project Stardust, marking the evolution of its D2D strategy through the development of a 3GPP 5G standards-based Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) Non-Terrestrial Network (NB-NTN) service. The installation of Starlink will allow the company to compete with KU and KA Band satellite operators.

Iridium currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of the company have lost 52.1% in the past year compared with the sub-industry’s decline of 45.8%.

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Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the broader technology space are Synopsys (SNPS - Free Report) , Woodward (WWD - Free Report) and Watts Water Technologies (WTS - Free Report) . Synopsys sports a Zacks Rank #1, while Watts Water Technologies and Woodward carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Synopsys’ 2024 EPS has improved 1.1% in the past 60 days to $13.56. SNPS’ long-term earnings growth rate is 17.5%.

Synopsys’ earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 4.1%. Shares of SNPS have risen 56.1% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Woodward’s fiscal 2024 EPS has inched up 5.7% in the past 60 days to $5.27. WWD’s long-term earnings growth rate is 15.5%.

Woodward’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 27.2%. Shares of WWD have risen 50.5% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Watts Water Technologies’ fiscal 2024 EPS has improved 2.5% in the past 60 days to $8.54. WTS’ long-term earnings growth rate is 7.8%.

WTS’ earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 13.5%. Shares of WTS have risen 16.5% in the past year.

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