Anyone who has taken a flight in the past few years is well aware of Gogo Inc (NASDAQ:GOGO), the leading provider of in-flight connectivity. One might look at the growing popularity of this technology and think that Gogo stock must be busting through the roof.
That assumption, however, would be wrong. Since going public in June 2013, Gogo stock has been virtually flat, and it now sits 55% lower than its high from December of 2013.
Last year was not a kind one for the company's shareholders. Threats of competition from AT&T, disappointing guidance, and significant short interest all combined to push Gogo stock down last year.
If investors want stronger performance in 2015, here are three things they should look for.
Continued traction within business aviation
Gogo's revenue streams can essentially be broken down into three segments: Commercial Aviation in North America (CA-NA), Commerical Aviation in the rest of the world (CA-ROW), and Business Aviation (BA). As you can see below, even though Business Aviation isn't the largest segment, it is the biggest profit-generator.
The company makes the bulk of its money in BA from sales of air-to-ground equipment that enable connectivity. Those are one-off sales, so Gogo won't necessarily enjoy as stable a revenue stream as it would providing the service itself. That being said, these pieces of equipment are high-margin moneymakers that the company needs while spending millions to build out its global network.
There's an enormous opportunity in BA.
Only 17% of all business aircraft are equipped with in-flight connectivity. Of those with connectivity, Gogo has a massive 87% market share. Shareholders should pay especially close attention to the growth of connected BA planes and Gogo's ability to maintain a 75% plus market share in that segment.
Pump up the ARPP!
ARPP stands for Average Revenue Per Passenger Opportunity. In other words, for every person that gets on a flight enabled with Gogo's Wi-Fi technology, the ARPP represents the amount of money flowing to Gogo. It's an important statistic because it reflects both the number of people using Gogo's service and the amount they are willing to pay for it.
As you can see, that metric has trended up nicely over the past four years.
Most of the North America's commercial aviation fleet has already been spoken for. That means Gogo can stop spending as much as it has historically on capital expenditures and work on leveraging its unmatched network to provide connectivity. The CA-NA segment only recently became profitable and to continue the upward trend, Gogo will need to show it can increase its ARPP to at least $0.90 -- if not more -- by the end of 2015.
Winning over international customers
But what really makes Gogo stock a volatile one for investors is the amount of money the company is spending to expand its international network. Unlike planes traveling over land and utilizing air-to-ground technology, connectivity on international flights requires satellites.
Gogo has already launched its Ku-Band satellite technology, but it expects to add to its global portfolio with Ka-Band and 2Ku technology in 2015 as well. Being a leader in this technology is crucial, as the international aviation community is just starting to come online with in-flight connectivity. The company with the most effective technology will be able to lock in long-term contracts and capture huge swaths of market share.
Gogo is spending heavily to solidify its position in this market. Investors should pay close attention to any and all contract agreements between Gogo and international carriers in addition to domestic carriers with a strong international presence.