GoGo received permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) late last year to upgrade to the satellite-based Ku-band system, and that is what generated the announcement from Delta. Last week, GoGo said it had received a Supplementary Type Certificate (STC) that allows the company to test its next generation 2Ku satellite connectivity system in GoGo’s own 737-500 flying lab. The company expects to receive a second STC from the FAA next month, allowing it to launch commercial service of the 2Ku technology before the end of 2015.
Yet the company’s announcement last week did not cause a ripple in the share price. In fact the share price fell about 2% and made up some lost ground in Monday morning’s trading session. The stock posted a 52-week high a week before the latest announcement, so perhaps the news was already baked in.
Maybe the problem is that there no is lack of competition. ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) offers Ka-band inflight systems under its Exede brand, as does Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON), and Panasonic offers in-flight Ku-band service under its eXConnect brand. GoGo’s 2Ku may be a less expensive solution than the newer Ka-band technology.
Passengers do want access to in-flight connectivity, but most are not going to choose an airline based on which one offers the fastest Internet speeds. The airlines are essentially technology-agnostic and will install whichever system offers the best return. Can GoGo leap that hurdle?
GoGo’s stock traded up about 2.7% at about noon on Monday, at $21.93 in a 52-week range of $13.26 to $22.50. Shares peaked in the morning at $22.00. The consensus price target on the stock is just $20.50, and the highest target is $24.00.
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