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Monday, Jan 30, 2023

Wi-Fi Provider Details Deals to Investors’ Delight

The bottom line is important, but so are the details.

So when Westwood Wi-Fi company Boingo Wireless Inc. offered a more detailed view of the different ways it makes money, an analyst decided the stock was undervalued. And that made for a bouncing Boingo over the next several days.

Shares of Boingo soared 13 percent during the week ended April 8 to close at $8.51, making the company one of the biggest gainers on the LABJ Stock Index. (See Page 36.)

Analyst James Moorman at Great Falls, Mont.’s D.A. Davidson & Co., who published the March 31 research note that got Wall Street excited, raised his price target to $13 a share from $10 after Boingo – for the first time – broke down revenue in different business segments.

Moorman’s thesis is that while Boingo’s retail business is declining, the company has other strong growth areas such as its military contracts and distributed antenna systems. He said the company was previously valued mostly based on its retail business.

“Before, a lot of these groups were lumped together,” he said. “Retail was lumped together with military. It was hard to tell how much retail was declining and military was increasing.”

Boingo has global contracts with the Army, Air Force and Marines to build networks to provide wireless Internet and TV services in barracks. Moorman said it’s a plug-and-play product that makes more sense than traditional cable for itinerant military personnel.

“As of the last quarterly call, we have 30 bases up and live and 130,000 beds covered,” said Boingo Chief Executive David Hagan. “We expect this to be a very significant business over time.”

Moorman believes Wi-Fi offload agreements, such as one Boingo recently signed with a yet-unnamed wireless carrier, could be a high-growth, high-margin business. Those deals enable a carrier’s customers to seamlessly bounce among cellular and Wi-Fi networks when they enter an area covered by a Boingo wireless network.

Moorman is also excited about the potential of Boingo’s distributed antenna system business, which uses smaller, less-powerful antennas to provide wireless service in areas where big cell towers are impractical, such as airports, subway stations and the inside of stadiums. Boingo has a system at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport that works with five large wireless carriers to provide a stronger signal to passengers.

Given all these growth drivers, Moorman believes Boingo has more value than expressed in its share price.

“I think the stock is trading at a pretty severe discount,” he said.


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