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Why Maxar Stock Just Popped 14%

By Rich Smith - Jan 19, 2021 at 12:07PM

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Another military officer enlists with the space tech company.

What happened

Shares of satellite builder and Earth imager Maxar Technologies (MAXR 3.29%) jumped this morning, topping out up 14.8% as of 11:40 a.m. EST. It was a welcome boost for shareholders, but still a curious reaction to the news that seems to have sparked it.

Maxar has named a new member to its board of directors.  

Cartoon rocket zooming up like a stock on a chart

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Specifically, this morning Maxar advised that it has appointed Dr. Heather Wilson to serve on its board. Is this news as good as investors are treating it, though?

Wilson is a former U.S. Air Force secretary and current president of the University of Texas at El Paso. From 1998 to 2009, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. As Maxar CEO Dan Jablonsky pointed out, Wilson's "deep understanding of the national security and intelligence communities make her an ideal choice" to help supervise Maxar going forward.

Now what

Wilson isn't the only Maxar board member with serious star power, either. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Maxar's board also includes two former CIA officers, a Navy vet (the CEO himself), and two former commanders of Air Force Space Command. And it's chaired by the former head of NORAD (retired Air Force Gen. Howell Estes III).

I don't know if Wilson's addition to this board is worth a 14% increase in market capitalization, but if adding political and military connections -- with an inside view of what the U.S. government and military need from their space company contractors -- is of any benefit to Maxar (and I imagine they are), then adding Wilson to the mix is certainly a good thing for Maxar's prospects going forward.

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