What happened

Share of Intelsat (OTC:INTE.Q) are plunging today, down by 34% as of 12:05 p.m. EST, after J.P. Morgan downgraded the small-cap satellite specialist and lowered its price target.

So what

Last night, J.P. Morgan cut its rating on Intelsat stock from overweight to neutral and slashed its price target from $34 to only $22.

Satellite beaming message down to Earth

Image source: Getty Images.

As explained in a note on TheFly.com, J.P. Morgan thinks that worries that Congress might interfere with Intelsat's ability to sell wireless "C-band" spectrum to 5G internet providers are getting more serious than they were "only weeks ago." Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana is pushing for a public auction of spectrum, which could delay Intelsat's desired spectrum sale, and potentially reduce the profits the company had hoped to earn from it.

Now what

Admittedly, that number is still pretty large -- J.P. Morgan says Intelsat could still earn $8 billion from a spectrum sale. But that's down from its prior estimate of $10 billion, and evidently enough to make the analyst rethink its bullish rating on Intelsat stock.

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