The Motley Fool, the finance and stock watching publication, has been watching the commercial, earth observing satellite providers GeoEye (GEOY) and DigitalGlobe (DGI). So has that other financial publication, Barrons.
The reason is that both of the satellite companies are trading at nearly 50% off from their highs seen during the summer of 2010. The possiblity that the EnhancedView contract might be impacted could be part of the reason (discussed during our podast of Jan. 3.).
But regardless of whether you believe that the risk by DGI and GEOY to put most of their marbles in the government basket is worth it, the financial publications love bargains. The Motley Fool likes GEOY better because they operate airborne platforms as well. My take is that the SPADAC acquisition also helps because it broadens their base into servivces. Barron's thinks that DGI has been hit because of the CEO transition to Jeffrey Tarr but I'm not buying that. The departure of Jill Smith was known long ago.
Both companies might see competition from EADS/Astrium's Pleiades satellites, the first of which was launched this past December. But the French have had trouble marketing their birds. Still, if commerical remote sensing is going to thrive, all of them are going to have to look at markets in the private sector to balance any falloff of government revenue.