Performance during supply chain disruptions
Virgin Orbit’s modified 747 jet “Cosmic Girl” releases the company’s LauncherOne rocket for a mission on January 13, 2022.
Space companies have been reporting results for the first quarter of the year in recent weeks, with many CEOs complaining about supply chain disruptions that are delaying hardware deliveries and launch schedules.
“Everyone is delayed. I haven’t heard from a single satellite operator in the last 12 months – whether it’s a new entrant, whether it’s operators long-standing – everyone is moving a bit to the right, mostly for the same reasons…supply chain issues and so on,” Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg told the conference call. telephone on the results of his company.
Many space companies went public last year under SPAC deals, but most stocks are struggling despite industry growth. The changing market environment, with rising interest rates hitting technology and growth stocks hard, weighed on space stocks. Shares of about a dozen space companies have fallen 50% or more since their market debut.
Beyond the supply chain hiccups, most public companies reported continued quarterly losses as profitability remains a year or more away for many space companies.
Below are summaries of the most recent quarterly reports for Aerojet Rocketdyne, AST SpaceMobile, Astra, BlackSky, Iridium, Maxar, Momentus, Mynaric, Redwire, Rocket Lab, Satellogic, Spire Global, Telesat, Terran Orbital, ViaSat, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit. – alongside the stock’s year-to-date performance at Thursday’s close.
Satellite imagery company Planet has not yet released its first quarter results. The company uses a fiscal year 2023 calendar that started on February 1.
Aerojet Rocketdyne: -12%
While the propulsion specialist derives the majority of its $511 million in first-quarter sales from defense-related contracts, Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to derive a significant portion of its revenue from the space sector. The company’s adjusted EBITDA profit for the quarter increased 18% to $69 million, compared to the same period a year earlier, with a backlog of $6.4 billion in multi-year contracts. Aerojet Rocketdyne remains embroiled in a proxy battle between CEO Eileen Drake and Executive Chairman Warren Lichtenstein that began over the now terminated deal with Lockheed Martin.
AST EspaceMobile: -5%
The satellite-to-smartphone broadband company reported minimal revenue of $2.4 million in the first quarter, with operating expenses up $32.7 million from the previous quarter. AST continues to work on launching its BlueWalker 3 demonstration satellite this summer, with approximately $83 million invested in building and testing the spacecraft so far. The company has $255 million in cash.
Dark sky: -46%
Seattle-based satellite imagery specialist BlackSky reported first-quarter revenue of $13.9 million with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $9.5 million, up 91 % and 53% compared to the same period of the previous year, respectively. BlackSky has $138 million in cash. CEO Brian O’Toole pointed out that the company is seeing growing demand for Earth imagery from US and foreign governments, with BlackSky saying it “believes the capacity” of the current 14 satellites it has in orbit “will be more than enough to meet increased customer demand.”
The satellite communications provider posted revenue of $168.2 million, operating profit EBITDA of $103.2 million and 1.8 million total subscribers in the first quarter, an increase of 15%, 17% and 15%, respectively, compared to the previous year. Iridium CEO Matt Desch noted that the company’s supply chain team is handling the issues and “we seem to be doing as well as anyone to get the parts we need,” but said that “the problem is that demand continues to exceed forecasts”. Iridium has “huge demand” from Ukraine, Desch said, with the company shipping thousands of devices to provide services such as mobile phones to Internet of Things connectivity.
The satellite imagery and space infrastructure company reported first-quarter revenue of $405 million, up slightly from a year earlier, with adjusted EBITDA profit of $84 million, or a 25% increase. Maxar’s backlog fell 14% from the fourth quarter to $1.6 billion. CEO Dan Jablonsky said on the company’s call that the long-awaited launch of its first WorldView Legion satellite was delayed until September due to a problem during testing. Jablonsky added that he was “disappointed that we had another delay” with Maxar’s schedule to get its WorldView Legion satellites into orbit. It has “been impacted by supply chain and COVID-related issues over the past couple of years.”
The spacecraft maker reported no revenue in the first quarter and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $17.2 million, compared to a loss of $13.2 million a year earlier. Momentus has spent the quarter preparing to launch its Vigoride spacecraft this month to demonstrate its capabilities, and has signed deals to fly on future SpaceX rideshare launches. The company has $136 million in cash.
The laser communications maker announced preliminary results for 2021 in a letter to shareholders, with the German company listing on Nasdaq late last year. Converted to euros, Mynaric in 2021 brought in $2.6 million in revenue and has about $50 million in cash. Mynaric’s customer backlog for 2022 has seen it receive approximately $21 million in contracts for laser communication units.
The space infrastructure conglomerate posted first-quarter revenue of $32.9 million, up slightly from a year earlier, with an order book worth $273.9 million. dollars. Redwire has approximately $6 million in cash, with approximately $31 million of cash available through existing debt.
Rocket Lab: -62%
The small-rocket maker reported first-quarter revenue of $40.7 million, up 147% from a year earlier — and $34 million of that revenue came from the business of ‘Rocket Lab spacecraft, with the remaining minority coming from launches. Rocket Lab posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $8 million, down 8% from a year ago, and has $603 million in cash. The company’s chief financial officer, Adam Spice, said on the earnings call that its “supply chain is relatively intact” due to vertical integration, but purchasing production equipment for the next Rocket Lab’s Neutron vehicle “suffers from supply chain issues” because “there’s no money in the world that can speed up some of these things.”
The satellite imagery company announced 2021 results earlier this month, after being released in January. Satellogic has 22 satellites in orbit, and plans to launch a dozen more this year. The company posted revenue of $4.2 million in 2021, with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $30.7 million.
World Spire: -56%
Small satellite maker and data specialist Spire reported first-quarter revenue of $18.1 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $9.7 million, up 86% and 62% , respectively, compared to a year ago. The company has $91.6 million in cash. Spire forecasts full-year 2022 revenue from annual recurring customer contracts of between $101 million and $105 million. Spire CEO Peter Platzer said on the quarterly call that the company continues to target “positive cash flow in 22 to 28 months” with weather data helping customers ranging from the agricultural industry to a team of Formula 1, and its marine data helping to support the freight industry in the face of global supply chain challenges.
Earth orbital: -50%
The spacecraft maker reported first-quarter revenue of $13.1 million, up 25% from a year earlier, with an order backlog of $222 million – partly thanks to a contract to build satellites for the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency. Terran Orbital posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $14.7 million, quadruple its loss in the first quarter of 2021. It has $77 million in cash. Terran co-founder and CEO Marc Bell highlighted supply chain disruptions on the call, but noted that the company is increasingly vertically integrating its manufacturing.
The satellite broadband provider is on a different reporting cycle than the calendar year, with the company releasing its fourth quarter results on Wednesday. Viasat generated $702 million in fourth quarter revenue, up 18% from the same period a year ago, and adjusted EBITDA of $134 million, down 9%. The company has nearly $1 billion in cash, mostly from debt. In a letter to shareholders, Viasat noted that its fiscal year-end “had some challenges” due to regulatory delays, as well as increased R&D spending “on attractive growth opportunities.”
Galactic Virgo: -50%
The space tourism company reported negligible first-quarter revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $77 million, up 38% from the same period a year ago. The company has $1.22 billion in cash. Although its current spacecraft and carrier aircraft refurbishment program is “progressing well” and expected to be completed in September, Virgin Galactic has announced the postponement of the launch of its commercial tourism service to the first quarter of 2023. The Virgin CEO Galactic’s Michael Colglazier said the delay in bringing the service to market was due to “small issues” that pushed back the company’s renovation schedule. He added that “like many companies around the world, we are experiencing high levels of supply chain disruption.”
Pristine Orbit: -40%
The alternative rocket launcher posted first-quarter revenue of $2.1 million, down 61% from the same period a year ago, and an adjusted EBITDA loss of 49, $6 million, up 71%. Virgin Orbit noted that the drop in revenue was due to “contracted launches during the early development phase with introductory prices”. The company has $127 million in cash, with a total backlog of $575.6 million. CEO Dan Hart said on the company’s conference call that it still plans to launch between four and six times this year, with one completed so far.