February 10th, 2021 | 07:54 CET
Airbus, Kleos Space, Gazprom: Solid business - on Earth and in orbit
Table of contents:
Airbus: Aircraft still on the ground
When Germans think of aerospace, the name Airbus immediately comes to mind. The Franco-German joint venture is symbolic of European cooperation in strategically essential industries like aviation. But can investors interested in visions of the future around aerospace invest in Airbus, or is the Company too dominated by aircraft manufacturing? Defense and aerospace account for only about 15% of Airbus' revenues. The lion's share of about three-quarters is in the traditional aerospace business, with helicopters making up the rest. For the Company, 2020 was heavily impacted by the pandemic. In the first nine months of the year, sales fell by more than a third and losses grew to EUR 2.7 billion.
The Company is cutting costs and plans to make substantial savings, especially in personnel, to improve the figures. Due to the current situation, many aircraft will remain grounded. It is expected that flying will be taxed even more heavily in the long term. For Airbus, this is not a good outlook. Only the plans for climate-friendly aviation can help the stock in the long term. However, the stock is currently trading in no man's land and is of little interest to investors.
No dreams of the future: Kleos Space sells data from space
The young Australian Company Kleos Space has a much more exciting story to offer. The Company launches satellites into orbit to collect data. This data is being provided to customers as part of subscription models. What may sound absurd at first is quickly gaining traction. Last November, Kleos Space shot the first four satellites into space and more will follow in the next few months. Each satellite flies over the Earth in its orbit, collecting data as it goes, which includes radio devices' activity.
Depending on the subscription model, companies pay between EUR 60,000 and EUR 300,000 for Kleos Space to use the data collected. Possible areas of application include border protection or the fight against piracy. How does it work? Kleos Space detects suspicious radio traffic and can thus issue warnings in good time. In addition to government agencies and the military, shipping companies are also interested.
According to the Company, initial sales are expected in the first half of 2021. In addition to the US Air Force and other government organizations, Kleos Space has won the US tech Company L3Harris as a customer. After further satellite launches in June and December 2021, the even more extensive database is expected to attract more customers. Since launching a satellite costs the Company a small to mid-six-figure sum, Kleos Space could quickly break even with several customers. The share is traded in Australia and Germany and is currently hovering above the EUR 0.40 mark.
Gazprom: The billion-euro group is looking eastward
When it comes to potential customers for Kleos Space, all companies exposed to criminal activities come into question. For example, there are always thefts or acts of sabotage by terrorists at raw materials companies. Companies that are active in far-flung regions, such as Canada, Australia, or Central Asia, can use support from space. One such Company could be Gazprom. The Russian Company produces and delivers oil and natural gas. Pipelines, in particular, often stretch over thousands of kilometers and are a potential target for terrorists.
Despite the sanctions against Russia, Gazprom's business is going well. Even the falling oil price a year ago could not harm the robust Russians. Now the oil price is rising again and the Company could benefit. Although the wrangling over the North Stream 2 pipeline is dominating the debate in Germany, Gazprom could live with a construction stop - and in the future, supply its energy to China. The share has fought its way free and now also looks good in the short term. Added to this is the traditionally high dividend. Gazprom is a reliable standard stock, but its business model is admittedly rather "down to earth." If you are looking for an exciting investment niche and don't want to invest in a sluggish corporation, one can take a closer look at Kleos Space.
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