July 26, 2019 / 9:49 AM / 3 months ago

SES's affirmed outlook eases concerns, shares jump

(Reuters) - SES (SESFd.PA) stuck with its guidance for 2019 and 2020 as it reported a decline in first-half core profit on Friday, sending shares in the Luxembourg-based satellite operator higher.

SES said it still expects its 2019 EBITDA to come to 1.22-1.27 billion euros (£1.09-£1.14 billion) and revenue to 1.98-2.04 billion euros.

SES’s shares have recently seen a string of price target and estimate cuts on concern the company could reduce its full-year financial forecast.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 8% to 584.5 million euros ($651 million) in the first six months of the year but were in line with consensus.

JP Morgan said both SES’s first-half results and its reiterated guidance were reassuring.

SES’s Chief Executive Steve Collar made upbeat comments during a conference call on Friday, saying he was “pretty confident” that the company would reach its guidance range.

By 0922 GMT, SES’s stock was 6% higher at 14.34 euros.

Collar, who also said that SES has already secured 90% of its expected full-year revenue, added that the company would now focus on execution, costs and crystallizing C-band repurposing to support rapid 5G deployment in the United States.

Faced with a decline in its core video business due to the increasing popularity of online streaming services such as Netflix, SES has been rapidly expanding into mobility, providing connectivity services such as Wifi to airplanes and ships.

It has also formed a C-band alliance with rivals Intelsat (I.N), Eutelsat (ETL.PA) and Telesat to resell the C-band spectrum for the roll out of high-speed 5G mobile networks in the United States.

CEO Collar said SES had made further progress on C-band in the second quarter, adding he was encouraged by comments by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman, who has said he believed there would be “results to show” in the fall.

Reporting by Pawel Goraj; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Maria Sheahan

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