Rocket Lab results match Wall Street estimates, company adds contracts for 10 launches


Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab on Tuesday reported second-quarter results that largely met Wall Street’s expectations, and the company said it added contracts for 10 more launches in 2023 and 2024.

“The second quarter saw strong performance across Rocket Lab’s launch and space systems businesses with three successful Electron [rocket] launches, more than 17 spacecraft featuring Rocket Lab satellite components deployed to orbit, and multiple new launch contracts signed with new and returning customers,” Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said in a statement.

The company reported a net loss of $45.9 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of 9 cents a share expected, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. That was wider than the loss of 8 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue grew 12% year over year in the second quarter to $62 million, versus $61.8 million expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Rocket Lab’s launch business saw $22.5 million in revenue in the second quarter, while its space systems unit brought in $39.6 million. Its contract backlog increased from the previous quarter, rising by $40.1 million to $534.3 million.

Rocket Lab stock rose as much as 5% in after-hours trading from its close at $6.66 a share. The stock is the top performing pure-play space stock in 2023, up 77% year-to-date.

For the third quarter, Rocket Lab expects revenue to grow to between $73 million and $77 million.

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The company said it passed “significant milestones” in the development of its coming Neutron rocket. Those developments included completing a second stage tank for the rocket, as well as finishing construction of a stand to conduct cryogenic tank tests – key for verifying the rocket’s design ahead of a first launch. Rocket Lab also expects to begin construction of Neutron’s launch site in Virginia in the third quarter.

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab added orders for 10 launches of its Electron rocket since the end of the first quarter. Commercial satellite companies BlackSky and Synspective booked five and two Electron launches, respectively, while “a government customer” purchased two launches and “a confidential customer” ordered a “HASTE” mission. HASTE is a modified Electron rocket that flies hypersonic test missions, rather than carry satellites to orbit.

The launches are largely expected to happen in 2024.

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