Market Commentary

Viasat Crashes 28% on ‘Unexpected’ Deployment Event

Raza Akram
6 Feb 2024 · 1 minute read

After satellite firm Viasat (VSAT:US) provided a negative business update after market close on Wednesday, shares fell as much as 28% in a record single-day drop.

Viasat said that it experienced “an unexpected event”, which is likely to have a material impact on the performance of its ViaSat-3 Americas Satellite.

The event took place during reflector deployment, the company added in a press release.

“We’re disappointed by the recent developments,” said Mark Dankberg, Chairman and CEO, Viasat. “We’re working closely with the reflector’s manufacturer to try to resolve the issue. We sincerely appreciate their focused efforts and commitment.”

The company added that it is working to minimize the economic effect and negative impact on the company’s finances and operations. It is considering redeploying satellites from its fleet to optimize global coverage, and/or reallocating a new ViaSat-3 class satellite to help support the Americas region.

The financial impact of these developments is likely to be communicated on the earnings call, which is planned for August 09.

One of Viasat’s customers, Delta Air Lines (DAL:US), said yesterday that passengers may experience delays in international free wifi services due to the above-explained issues. 

Last year, the company agreed to sell its Link 16 Tactical Data Links (TDL) business to L3Harris Technologies (LHX:US) for $1.96 billion. The deal was closed in this January.

Several Congress members traded VSAT shares in the past. Greg Gianforte bought $100,000 - $250,000 worth of VSAT stock back in December 2020, while it traded in the low $30s. Following a sharp selloff, VSAT shares closed at $30.74 on Thursday.