What happened

Shares of satellite communications company Viasat (VSAT -4.03%) closed up 12.7% Friday after the company exceeded earnings expectations in its Thursday financial report on the fiscal fourth quarter of 2018.

Viasat didn't report  "earnings," exactly, but rather losses for the quarter of -$0.17 per share. Regardless, these results were better than the -$0.40 per share that Wall Street had predicted  it would lose, and thus constituted an earnings beat.

Satellite beaming down to Earth

Viasat's earnings report dropped last night. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $554.7 million, up 45% year over year, and the company's loss was less than half of its reported loss of -$0.42 per share in last year's Q4.

Check out the latest Viasat earnings call transcript.

Now what

Viasat did not issue earnings guidance for 2019 as part of its final 2018 earnings report. Management did, however, note that it enjoyed strong contract order flow in 2018, with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.2 to 1.0, and contract awards growing 39% year over year. That should be enough to nearly maintain sales growth at Q4 levels for a while, at least, in 2019.

Now, if only Viasat could find a way to earn a profit on those sales, I imagine investors would be even more pleased.