Space stocks fall back down to earth after going public
Space stocks are hitting the market — but those looking for the next rocket might have to wait. Yesterday, Rocket Labs (NASDAQ:RKLB), the space launch company, debuted in the stock market — falling 10% on its first day.
What’s the big deal? In the past year, space stocks had their star momentum, starting with Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s space tourism company becoming a Reddit fave.
But launch companies looking to become the Fedex of space are targeting a different customer group — helping commercial/government satellite operators send up satellites. But the industry is crowded with competitors:
- Two other launch companies recently went public — Astra (NASDAQ:ASTR) and Momentus (NASDAQ:MTNS).
- SpaceX, the dominant space company, is worth more than all other pure-play public space companies combined.
Rocket projections: Many of these companies went public via SPACs — giving outlandish projections to attract investors.
- But after going public, many revised their unrealistic forecasts downward — sending their stocks crashing.
- RKLB had sales of $33m in 2020 but expects to hit $915m by 2027 — requiring growth of 60% each year.
60% annual growth is steep considering uncertainty in the industry and RKLB’s volatile past.
Investors jumped on Virgin Galactic’s stock right before test flights — with successful ones sending it soaring. Expecting a repeat of Virgin? Don’t count on it. In recent months:
- Investors have been much less forgiving of speculative stocks with little sales to show for.
- Investors moved their attention away from space stocks — which have trended lower.
“Space” ETF: At least Cathie has more space stocks to put in ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (BATS:ARKX) now — aside from stocks like Netflix and Alibaba currently in the “space” ETF.