NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) will be able to generate the images for Google Maps itself, thanks to the acquisition it announced this week. That should be bad news for DigitalGlobe (DGI - Get Report) which supplies pictures for Google Maps, right? Wrong.
Google is not one of DigitalGlobe's major customers. The company gets more than 80% of its revenue from government agencies.
For the current year, DigitalGlobe has forecast revenue growth of between 3% and 8% from 2013. The company is aiming for Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins of at least 50% in the fourth quarter, up from 39.4% in the first quarter.
The U.S. government has permitted DigitalGlobe to sell its sharpest satellite images to all of its customers. Meanwhile, the company is gearing up to launch a new imagery satellite within two months. Those two developments will easily offset any possible decline in Google revenue.On Tuesday, when Google announced it has agreed to acquire Skybox Imaging for $500 million, DigitalGlobe's shares dropped by 4%. The company's shares still haven't fully recovered, trading at $30.25, up 16 cents, late Friday morning. Skybox Imaging provides high-resolution satellite images and videos. Through the acquisition, Google aims to bolster its Google Earth and Maps offerings, such as the Google Earth Enterprise, and to provide high-speed Internet and disaster relief services. The search engine giant gets the images for Google Maps from more than a thousand different sources, including DigitalGlobe. The Skybox acquisition will reduce Google's reliance on DigitalGlobe. On the flip side, DigitalGlobe might end up losing a high-profile customer. DigitalGlobe is a 20-year old company valued at $2.28 billion. It was a much smaller company until January 2013, when it completed an $1.4 billion acquisition of GeoEye, another company that provides satellite images.
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