Do the NGA cuts mark a failure of the commercial satellite imagery market?
by Matt Ball, Sensors and Systems, V1 Magazine, June 26, 2012
GeoEye received word late last week that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) would be making a significant cut in their 2013 funding under the Enhanced View contract, offering only a three or nine-month option. While there is still some indication that Congress might fully fund the program, the news was bleak enough to send GeoEye stock falling more than twenty percent. In this time of tightened government budgets, and unstable global economy, it’s tough on all businesses to remain stable, but combined with dramatic defense cuts, the pressures form a perfect storm for the U.S. commercial satellite imaging industry. The overwhelming defense demand has seen both companies grow strongly over the past decade, with capacity devoted mainly to this task. That strong demand has meant less of an emphasis on growing the commercial applications of this unique spatial intelligence, and without a broad base, some time will be needed to fill revenue gaps. …
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