The most dependable thing we have at hand at this point is our communications technology – a strange, perhaps alien statement, to be sure. But it has become undeniable over recent months when we have been forced to confront the fact that some things can even undermine our faith in in-person presence. If you have to get something from your mind to someone else’s, or many others, you now know you can depend more on your phone or email or Zoom than you can on knocking on a door.
The equation has changed.
Investors have followed in step, with the tech sector massively outperforming all other sectors in the market over that period by a wide margin. It’s not just about the pandemic. It’s about the fact that the genie isn’t going back in the bottle, and markets know it. That puts a steep premium on communications stocks.
As such, here are a handful of interesting names in the space that may deserve attention, including Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI), SC Holdings Corp (OTC: SCNG), and Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM).
Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) bills itself as a company that provides mission-critical communication solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Products and Systems Integration, and Services and Software.
The Products and Systems Integration segment offers a portfolio of infrastructure, devices, accessories, and video solutions, as well as the implementation, optimization, and integration of networks, devices, software, and applications for government, public safety and first-responder agencies, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers. Its products include two-way portable and vehicle-mounted radios, accessories, software features, and upgrades; video cameras; radio network core and central processing software, base stations, consoles, and repeaters; and video analytics, network video management hardware and software, and access control solutions. The Services segment provides repair, technical support, and hardware maintenance services.
Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) most recently announced that it has made a new service available to the public safety market — CommandCentral Citizen Input — which is designed to help 9-1-1 call takers to better engage with citizens in their time of need. Citizen Input is a cloud-based service that allows citizens calling or texting 9-1-1 to send video, photographs, and recordings of an incident to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), using controlled and permission-based procedures.
“With CommandCentral Citizen Input, Motorola Solutions has really listened to its customers,” said Anita Pitt, 9-1-1 program manager, Brazos Valley Council of Governments in Texas. “It allows the 9-1-1 call taker to send a link to the citizen calling or texting 9-1-1, which allows the citizen to send the media to the PSAP. With this, the 9-1-1 call taker is in control of what is sent. When I learned that, I thought, ‘Thumbs up, Motorola Solutions’.”
And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 2% in that time. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 4% in that time on strong overall action.
Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) managed to rope in revenues totaling $1.6B in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top-line growth of -13%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($1.3B against $3.5B, respectively).
SC Holdings Corp (OTC: SCNG), also known as Strattners, is a publicly-traded small-cap conglomerate and parent company of the Strattner portfolio of brands and subsidiaries. The company manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, convertibles, credit, and hedge funds. The action for the company now is mostly about Strattner Financial’s key subsidiary, Strattner Technologies LLC, which is quickly moving into an emerging leadership role in the satellite-based communications space.
Strattner Technologies LLC also recently signed a contract with satellite phone manufacturer AdvanceTC Limited (OTC: ATCLF) to service and commercialize up to one million phones via the Strattner.Space platform. AdvanceTCs android based satellite-smartphone Xplore 7 is a FCC/SIRIM certified rugged satellite-smartphone with 4G LTE, satellite messaging, and emergency button device which received authorization by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2019.
SC Holdings Corp (OTC: SCNG), which owns Strattner Financial Group, and its subsidiary, Strattner Technologies, just recently announced, along with Pareteum Corporation (Nasdaq: TEUM), a global cloud communications platform company, that the two have partnered to launch the Strattner Voice brand, a GSM cellular network complementing its satellite communications network Strattner.Space.
According to the release, Strattner Technologies will utilize Pareteum’s Experience Cloud platform to enter the mobile communications market with the mission to reconnect Americans with their friends, family, and business associates both in the US and across the world, in these pandemic times. Strattner is bridging the gap between cellular and satellite networks on a single smartphone device. Strattner.Space, the Satellite communications division of the company, has strategically combined with Strattner Cellular division to bring this product solution to market.
David Blunk, CTO of Strattner Group stated, “We are very excited about the opportunity to go to market with a unified cellular solution that integrates rural market coverage on satellite technology.”
SC Holdings Corp (OTC: SCNG) recently reported that assets under management in its wholly-owned private funds TBS Equities Fund LLC and TBS Capital LP increased 192% from $2,328,582 to $6,812,000 attributable to a growing securities portfolio. The company continues to line up key deals to commercially expand in the sat-com space.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) recently unveiled the Iridium Online Museum, celebrating the challenges and successes of an audacious idea that initially failed, but ultimately succeeded and achieved its vision, inspiring a resurgence in commercial interest in space.
According to the release, the launch of the museum is timely, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the first legal steps taken towards Iridium’s rebirth as a modern company, on July 31, 2000. As Iridium continues its legacy of innovation and enters a new chapter of its story following the success of the Iridium® NEXT launch program, continued growth, and financial transformation, the interactive website commemorates the Company’s unique history and offers lessons for other current and future endeavors.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) is another interesting name in the space with a focus on mobile voice and data communications services and products to businesses, the United States and foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, and consumers worldwide. The company offers postpaid mobile voice and data satellite communications; prepaid mobile voice satellite communications; push-to-talk; broadband data; and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
IRDM also provides other services, such as inbound connections from the public switched telephone network, short message, subscriber identity module, activation, customer reactivation, and other peripheral services.
If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. IRDM shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 12% to the upside on above-average trading volume. IRDM shares have been relatively flat over the past month of action, with very little net movement during that period.
Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ: IRDM) pulled in sales of $140.2M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top-line growth of -2%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($119.1M against $101.9M).
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