Why Intelsat Stock Just Popped (Another) 10%

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What happened

Shares of communications satellite operator Intelsat (NYSE: I) jumped more than 12% in early trading Monday, and remain up 11.7% as of 1 p.m. EDT -- continuing a trend that has seen Intelsat stock book gains every day so far in April.

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Thanks to today's bump, Intelsat has now amassed a total of 119% in gains in just 14 days.

So what

The reason for today's jump in stock price is a press release. On Monday, Intelsat trumpeted its role as "part of a team of companies awarded a new task order by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop and operate a satellite payload" known as Geostationary Earth Satellite (GEO) 7. GEO 7 will "aid aircraft navigation, particularly precision approaches to airports without dependence on ground-based infrastructure."

Part of the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), Intelsat's mission will be to help improve information provided by Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites "to give commercial and civilian pilots more precise approach and departure guidance." Intelsat will "design, develop and host the WAAS GEO 7 payload and then integrate it into a new Intelsat Galaxy 30 satellite" being built by Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), another of the companies operating as part of a team having Leidos (NYSE: LDOS) as its prime contractor.

Now what

That's impressive stuff, and the value of Intelsat stock has gained nearly $100 million in response to today's press release. But that seems a bit rich given that, according to a report on AviationToday.com, the entire value of the contract awarded to prime contractor Leidos is only $117 million, money that will be shared among the several members of Leidos's team -- not just Intelsat.

It seems to me to today's reaction is a bit of an overreaction. At some point, the momentum on this stock has to break, but today doesn't appear to be that day.

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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Orbital ATK. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.