Index Shows First Quarter Gains
The Space Foundation Indexes followed a strong fourth quarter of 2011 with significant gains in the first quarter of 2012. The Space Foundation Services Index and the Space Foundation Infrastructure Index outperformed the Space Foundation Index which in turn slightly outgained the S&P 500 Index for the quarter as can be seen in Exhibit 1. The NASDAQ Composite led all the other indexes with its strongest first quarter performance in 21 years as the stock markets benefitted from a steadily improving economic outlook.
Key movers in the first quarter of 2012:
- Globalstar continued its recovery, leading all companies with a 55 percent growth in market cap for the quarter. On Dec. 28, 2011, Globalstar successfully launched another six second-generation satellites and in February announced that the constellation was paying dividends with restored high-quality services.
- Several core manufacturers also sustained significant growth in the quarter, with ITT Exelis leading the pack with a gain of almost 39 percent in its first full quarter after being spun off from ITT. GenCorp, Computer Sciences, Harris and Loral all turned in gains of 22-34 percent.
- Echostar (up almost 35 percent) and Orbcomm (up 31 percent) performed the best among enterprise/government satellite services companies.
- Sirius XM led the way in the consumer satellite services sector with 27 percent growth as it continues to perform well.
- The GPS sector turned in a second consecutive healthy quarter with more than 25 percent growth for Trimble and 18 percent growth for Garmin.
Only four Index component companies declined for the quarter:
- DigitalGlobe was down by more than 20 percent as it reported a miss on earnings for the fourth quarter. It is possible that continued concerns about its future revenues from its EnhancedView contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) also weigh on the company. By contrast, GeoEye recovered slightly during the same period.
- Also declining were ATK (down 12 percent), Orbital Sciences (down 9 percent), and BSkyB (down 4.4 percent).