Rocket Lab's Flying High Yet Its Shares Remain Grounded - 7investing 7investing
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Rocket Lab’s Flying High Yet Its Shares Remain Grounded

The disruptive space company has a ton of exciting announcements. Now's an opportunity for investors to get on board.

July 29, 2022

Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) has been a volatile, high-octane stock since hitting the public markets in August 2021. The “end-to-end” space company launches others’ payloads into outer space orbit, yet it now also manufactures and operates satellites as well. For those who are obsessed with space exploration and commercialization (present company included), this is a company you are rooting for to succeed.

Rocket Lab continues to announce new commercial wins that are unlocking further technical progress. Its recent There and Back Again mission successfully used a helicopter to recover its Electron booster rocket for the first time, and this “supersonic ballet” recovery will greatly reduce launch costs going forward. Varda Space Industries placed another order for Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft, which will provide the propulsion and communications for Varda’s in-space manufacturing satellites that produce products that will later be sent back down to Earth (neat, right?). And in the revolutionary CAPSTONE mission, Rocket Lab brought a NASA satellite into elliptical orbit around the moon. This is the first time that’s ever been done, and it marks an early success of NASA returning to the moon for its upcoming Artemis missions.

Perhaps even more exciting than the technical developments is the commercial impact of these missions. Rocket Lab’s first quarter revenue grew 124% year-over-year, bolstered by the recent acquisition of SolAero for the manufacture of solar cells and several new customer wins. In addition to providing launch services — where you provide the satellite and they’ll launch it into the orbit you desire — Rocket Lab now offers additional services such as manufacturing satellites for you, equipping your satellites with its Photon spacecraft, or running your outer-space operations and communications. These “Space Systems” revenues contributed 84% of first-quarter revenue and represented year-over-year growth of 1,873%.

There appears to be a universe of opportunities upcoming for the Space Systems business to grow into. Rocket Lab’s Responsive Space Program can now monitor all satellites in real-time, keeping them at peak operational efficiency and proactively troubleshooting issues before they arise (DARPA’s already embracing this). The company just landed (/just “launched”?) its largest contract to date; a $143 million deal with MDA to deliver 17 satellite buses for its Globalstar constellation. To put the magnitude of this contract in place, Rocket Lab reported total revenue of $62 million during fiscal 2021.

Management guided for $52.5 million of revenue for the upcoming Q2 2022. If achieved, that would be 26% sequential growth and 78% year-over-year growth from $29.5 million in Q2 2021.

The 7investing Key Takeaway

To see Simon’s current conviction rating for Rocket Lab, as well as our current conviction rating, simply click below to continue reading!


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