ViaSat says satellite suffered anomaly in space; shares tumble

(Reuters) — Viasat (VSAT) said on Wednesday there was an anomaly during the deployment of its ViaSat-3 Americas satellite in space which may affect the performance of the satellite, sending the company’s shares down around 19% before the bell.

An unexpected event occurred during reflector deployment, the company said, adding that it had started a review.

ViaSat shares were down 18.5% in pre-market trading Thursday at last check.

The ViaSat-3 Americas, designed to provide broadband connectivity in the Americas region, was launched onboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket on April 30.

Viasat in May acquired British satellite rival Inmarsat for $7.3 billion, and the merged entity has at least 19 satellites in space.

Other Viasat and Inmarsat satellites were not affected, according to Viasat.

The company said it will share additional information on the status of the ViaSat-3 Americas satellite and contingency plans during its earnings call on Aug. 9.

Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru)

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