Mixed performance with progress and delays

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The company’s Electron rocket carrying the CAPSTONE mission lifts off from New Zealand on June 28, 2022.

Rocket Lab

The second quarter was a mixed bag for space companies, with some firms posting steady progress while others faced setbacks.

Most space stocks, many of which went public last year through SPAC deals, are struggling despite the industry’s growth, off 50% or more since their market debut. The shifting market environment and climbing interest rates have hit technology and growth stocks hard, weighing on space stocks.

CNBC breaks down 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.

Satellite imagery company Planet has yet to report its latest quarterly results, as the company follows a fiscal year calendar that began on Feb. 1.

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -3%

Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to draw a major portion of revenue from the space sector. The propulsion specialist takes a majority of its $528.5 million in second-quarter sales from defense-related contracts. Notably, president and CEO Eileen Drake confirmed that Aerojet’s backlog added a United Launch Alliance contract for 116 of the RL10 engines needed to power the Vulcan rocket series, many of which Amazon ordered.

AST SpaceMobile

Stock’s year-to-date performance: +36%

The satellite-to-smartphone broadband company reported revenue of $7.3 million and total operating expenses of $35.4 million, both metrics slightly higher than the same period a year earlier. The company has $202.4 million in cash, as AST continues to work toward the launch of its Blue Walker 3 test satellite in September. It’s spent $86.6 million on the demonstration to date.

Astra

BlackSky

Iridium

Stock’s year-to-date performance: +9%

The satellite communications provider delivered revenue of $174.9 million, an operational EBITDA profit of $105.9 million and just under 1.9 million total subscribers — up 17%, 12%, and 16%, respectively, from the same period a year prior. Iridium CEO Matt Desch emphasized on the call that the “business outperformed nicely,” with the company “positioned well to grow … even if recent concerns of an economic downturn come to fruition.” The company also won a significant award from the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency during the quarter, which Desch expects to add $133 million in revenue over seven years.

Maxar

Momentus

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -58%

The spacecraft maker brought in just $50,000 in revenue, due to a canceled customer contract, and reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $18.3 million. While Momentus has about $109 million in cash on hand, the company says it plans to reduce its quarterly cash burn by cutting some spending and delaying long-term R&D projects, as it focuses on resolving issues identified with its spacecraft during its latest mission.

Mynaric

Redwire

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -54%

The space infrastructure conglomerate collected $36.7 million in revenue during the quarter, up 14% from a year prior, with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $4.1 million. Notably, Redwire “expects to achieve positive adjusted EBITDA in the second half of 2022,” even as it continues to invest in infrastructure expansions such as a newly opened robotic arm manufacturing facility in Luxembourg.

Rocket Lab

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -54%

The multinational small-rocket and spacecraft builder reported $55.5 million in revenue, up 36% from the previous quarter, largely from its space systems division. It also increased its total order backlog to $531.4 million. The company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $8.5 million, but has over half a billion in cash on hand. Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said on the company’s earnings conference call that Rocket Lab continues “to see strong demand for Electron launches.”

Satellogic

Spire Global

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -55%

Small satellite builder and data specialist Spire brought in $19.4 million in revenue during the second quarter and reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $7.3 million. For the full year 2022, the company expects that it will surpass $100 million in annual recurring revenue from subscribers.

Telesat

Terran Orbital

Viasat

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -16%

The satellite broadband provider, which is on a fiscal year calendar that starts in April, reported quarterly revenue of $678 million and an adjusted EBITDA profit of $132 million — the former a 2% year-over-year increase and the latter a 17% decrease. Viasat noted that it continues to see pressure on its finances from supply chain shortages and inflation. The company plans to launch its ViaSat-3 satellite late this year.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Orbit

Stock’s year-to-date performance: -50%

The alternative rocket launcher did not report any revenue, but completed a launch the day after the second quarter ended and will recognize $12 million from that in the next period. Virgin Orbit recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss of $34.4 million and $122.1 million in cash on hand. The company expects to complete two more launches this year, making for four total in 2022.

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