The Really Rocket Science Stock Index Launches!

Things are looking up for the satcom industry.

SES just announced that its first quarter net profit rose 24% in Q1 of 2008.

That surge is reflective of a larger industry-wide trend, and rising demand for satellite-based communications.
As Businessweek puts it, satellite is sexy again:

Some of the biggest names in tech have tried—and failed—to win at satellite communications. Remember Teledesic, a venture begun by wireless pioneer Craig McCaw and Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates aimed at constructing a constellation of hundreds of satellites that transmit high-speed Internet services? Or how about Iridium, or ICO Global Communications (ICOG), or Globalstar (GSAT)?

Those are among myriad efforts to use satellites to beam phone calls and broadband access that were ultimately scrapped or ended up in bankruptcy court, having lost billions of dollars. "Over the history of the industry, there have been a number of ventures that have been restructured and scratched," says Rich Power, an analyst at consulting firm Pike & Fischer.

Yet somehow, satellites are sexy again. Many of the companies that ended up in Chapter 11 have reemerged and are once again drawing investors’ interest. In the past half-year, private equity firms including Harbinger Capital Partners and Silver Lake have poured billions of dollars into satellite companies. In February, BC Partners, Silver Lake, Intelsat management, and other investors acquired satellite broadband provider Intelsat for $17 billion. In March, the Gores Group and other private equity investors snapped up satellite services and networking provider Gilat Satellite Networks for $475 million.

But if satellite is sexy again as an investment, how does one stay up to date with what’s moving and what’s not in the satellite sector?

The Motley Fool site has ten symbols tagged as satellite companies — which is a good start, but not exactly a comprehensive list.

That’s why we’ve created the Really Rocket Science Index — to give investors and satcom fans the ability to track the movement of the satellite sector as a whole.

The Really Rocket Science Index tallies the current stock prices of major satellite companies throughout the world. Currently, 28 companies comprise the index, from Boeing and Hughes to SES and Gilat.

The RRSI is updated daily, and will live on the right hand side of our home page. Click here to see the full list of companies on the RRSI and to view a feed of the latest news from indexed companies.