November 11, 2013 / 4:41 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-In-flight Internet provider Gogo raises revenue forecast

(Adds CEO comments from conference call, background; updates shares)

Nov 11 (Reuters) - Gogo Inc, a provider of in-flight Internet, raised the high end of its full-year revenue forecast range as more airlines signed up for its service, sending its shares up as much as 27.6 percent to an all-time high.

The company, which listed in June, also reported a better-than-expected 48 percent jump in quarterly revenue.

"Given the importance airlines now attach to broadband, we think most major airlines will make connectivity decisions over the next few years," Chief Executive Michael Small told analysts in a post-earnings conference call.

Gogo's services are available on more than 2,000 commercial aircraft across nine major North American airlines. In business aviation, the company has equipped over 1,800 aircraft with broadband connectivity.

Its Internet packages range from $14 for a daily pass to nearly $50 for unlimited monthly use.

Gogo said last month that it would provide in-flight Internet service on Japan Airlines Co Ltd's domestic fleet of 77 aircraft, marking its first significant international contract.

Gogo is trying to provide better Internet connectivity on more planes, especially over oceans, using satellites and aircraft-mounted antennas that swivel as a plane flies to keep tracking the satellite beam.

The company's current system is largely ground-based and operates mainly in the United States, where it is the largest in-flight connectivity provider with a share of about 80 percent of the WiFi-equipped aircraft market.

Gogo has also introduced an app-based service that allows passengers to send and receive text messages, and place and receive calls using their own phone and own number during the flight.

The company, which competes with Panasonic Avionics Corp and OnAir, said it planned to bring this service to commercial aviation in 2014. It also expects to launch a technology that increases peak speeds to 70 mbps in aircraft.

The company is expected to benefit from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ending a long-standing ban on the use of certain electronic devices throughout the flight.

Gogo said it now expected full-year revenue of $305 million-$325 million compared with $305 million-$315 million earlier.

The company's net loss narrowed to $18.7 million, or 22 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $29.0 million, or $4.27 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $85.4 million.

Sales at the company's commercial aviation business in North America jumped 53 percent to $50.6 million, while those at its business aviation division rose about 42 percent.

Analysts had expected a loss of 30 cents per share on revenue of $76.84 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gogo went public in June, raising $187 million through an initial public offering. Its shares have doubled in value since touching a low of $9.71 in August - well below their IPO price of $17.00. As of Friday close, the company was valued at $1.58 billion.

Gogo shares were up 26 percent at $23.63 on the Nasdaq on Monday, after hitting a high of $23.94. (Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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