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ViaSat Bolsters Aviation Capabilities with Arconics Buyout

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Global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) expanded its aircraft operation capabilities with the acquisition of Arconics, which provides pioneering software solutions to the aviation industry.

The financial details of the deal have been kept under wraps. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on ViaSat’s non-GAAP earnings for fiscal 2017.

ViaSat had a partnership with Arconics prior to the acquisition, which focused on catering to the wireless In-flight Entertainment (“IFE”) needs of airline customers.

Arconics offers a connected aircraft software platform, which enables wireless IFE, Electronic Flight Bag (“EFB”), Airline Document Management and Cabin Management solutions. The platform helps communicate and share data with the aircraft and leverages on the available connectivity to connect with ground systems across avionics or mobile platforms.

Arconics’ clients list spans five continents, and they depend on its software to operate their fleets safely and efficiently. Arconics’s clients include Qatar Airways, Tigerair Australia, Ryanair, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Aer Lingus and SpiceJet, among others.

The buyout will enable ViaSat to acquire aviation-grade software, broader expertise and mobile applications, which will boost safety and efficiency of flying for pilots, cabin crews and flight operations teams. ViaSat will also gain access to entertainment applications and will be able to explore opening new service and revenue opportunities.

ViaSat also intends to provide services like real-time insight, control and agility of aircraft and flight data. For this, ViaSat can leverage on its advanced high capacity Ka-band satellite network to create highly-integrated, highly-customizable aircraft operations tools.

Thus, adding Arconics’ capabilities will position ViaSat as the market leader for connectivity, passenger services and flight deck applications and operations, and enable it to deliver end-to-end experiences across the aircraft value-chain.

ViaSat’s Commercial Air business is proving to be a key profit driver, strongly supplementing growth. Going forward, the company’s expansion strategies, higher value service plans, and addition of other ancillary services look promising.

Additionally, ViaSat’s in-flight Internet services are already on a roll, having won lucrative contracts from leading commercial flights like Virgin America Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL - Free Report) . This acquisition will add further momentum to the same and looks to be conducive to top-line growth.

ViaSat presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

VIASAT INC Price and Consensus


Stocks to Consider

A better-ranked stock in the same space is Harris Corporation (HRS - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Harris is an international company focused on communications equipment for voice, data and video applications. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history over the trailing four quarters, beating estimates all through for an average of 4.2%.

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