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Why Intelsat Stock Popped 10.3% in September

By Steve Symington - Updated Oct 7, 2019 at 7:15PM

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It's all about the company's C-band wireless spectrum.

What happened

Shares of Intelsat (INTE.Q) climbed 10.3% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as investors anticipate a potentially lucrative deal to pave the way for the satellite communications specialist to sell its C-band spectrum assets.

So what

That's not to say Intelsat's rise last month was a straight line upward. It plunged as much as 16% on Sept. 3, as the market weighed industry peer Eutelsat's decision to withdraw from Intelsat's C-Band Alliance, which was formed to work with the Federal Communications Commission to achieve the aforementioned deal. The market was also reacting to the implications of recent FCC filings detailing multiple future launch missions from potential competitor SpaceX.

Man in suit using traditional balance scale to weigh gold coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

Still, Intelsat shares began to immediately recover after the company noted that -- together with fellow C-Band Alliance members SES and Telesat -- they still commanded roughly 95% of the affected revenues in the C-band market, and remain "committed to the process of engaging with the FCC on the proposal of rapidly clearing C-band spectrum to support the deployment of 5G services in the U.S."

Now what

Later in the month, Intelsat also enjoyed an upgrade from analysts at J.P. Morgan, who reaffirmed their overweight rating on the stock and raised their per-share price target by $5 to $32 -- representing a 33% premium from today's price at around $24. To justify their relative bullishness, J.P. Morgan's Philip Cusick speculated the alliance and the FCC are working together with the aim of having an order in place by November that could generate $26 billion of total proceeds for the C-band spectrum owners.

It should be only be a matter of weeks before we know whether that upgrade was on point. But it's no surprise to see Intelsat shares rallying in advance as investors anticipate confirmation of such positive news.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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