Viasat, Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) recently introduced cloud-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities over its global satellite communications (SATCOM) network. The value-added features will enable warfighters to make more accurate, informed and lifesaving decisions with accelerated speed across the battlespace.
AI will facilitate the defense personnel to dig deeper into the data realm to gain a tactical edge through enhanced situational awareness. It helps to get a cognitive insight through media rich intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data. ML tools are based on algorithms and information feed provided to the machine. These tools will help warfighters to ensure faster quality checks by automatically producing a list of records with anomalies. This gives maintenance and reliability teams a more focused approach by specifically targeting the anomalous maintenance records and reducing the amount of time spent on reviewing non-erroneous ones, thus increasing project efficiency through more useful findings and recommendations.
Viasat has partnered with various cloud computing providers across the globe to embed these features through its secure, high-speed and resilient SATCOM network and line of sight tactical network technologies. These have helped the company to deliver state-of-the-art Internet of battlefield things (IoBT) to significantly improve military readiness and mission effectiveness for the defense entities.
The end-to-end communications SATCOM network of the company offers layered resiliency and elite satellite capacity to support an unrivalled range of operations requiring IoBT and cloud-based applications. Viasat maintains a leading position in the satellite and wireless communications market. The company attracts millions of under-served U.S. consumers and enterprises through its high-quality broadband service. Encouragingly, Viasat’s blue-chip customer base, which comprises the U.S. Department of Defense, civil agencies, allied foreign governments and satellite network integrators, adds to its strength.
Moreover, the impressive traction of Viasat 1-bandwith, the company’s first communication satellite and the world's most cost-effective satellite bandwidth, has been supporting the government and satellite business as well. Notably, the company also launched the commercial service of ViaSat-2 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, which helped it become the first satellite Internet service provider globally to offer plans with download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Going forward, Viasat is eyeing opportunities to extend broadband satellite mobility to rotary wing aircraft, as it is a large addressable market that can emerge as a key profit churner.
Viasat is currently ramping up investments in the development of its revolutionary ViaSat-3 broadband communications platform as well, which will boast roughly 10 times the bandwidth capacity of ViaSat-2. The ViaSat-3 payload program has begun its transition to the construction phase. These satellites will also be capable of covering one-third of the world, including all Americas, likely by 2019. The second ViaSat-3, to be launched in 2020, will cover the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. The ViaSat-3 platform will help to form a global broadband network with sufficient network capacity to allow better consumer choices with an affordable, high-quality, high-speed internet and video streaming service.
Despite the positives, Viasat’s shares have declined 3.6% over the past year on average while the industry has rallied 23.6%.
Viasat currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. (UBNT - Free Report) and Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Ribbon Communications Inc. (RBBN - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Ubiquiti has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 18.6%. It delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 9% in the trailing four quarters.
Comtech trumped earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 136%.
Ribbon Communications has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12%. It surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters delivering an average positive surprise of 168.1%.
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