Rocket Lab USA
soared Thursday after the space launch provider reported its initial quarterly results as a publicly traded company.
Sales were $29.5 million in the first half of 2021. That’s good, even though investors really had nothing to compare them with. Shares of Rocket Lab (ticker: RKLB) rose 37%, closing at $20.72.
The company reported an order backlog of more than $141 million as of June 30. Earnings weren’t included in the news release; sales, and the backlog, at this point, matter more than earnings.
It was difficult to know what to expect. No analysts covered Rocket Lab stock on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. Analysts typically don’t cover companies going public via mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies until those deals are done. Even then, it ordinarily takes a while to ramp up coverage.
Rocket Lab’s merger wrapped up in late August. The company announced plans to merge with a SPAC back in March. The SPAC stock that became Rocket Lab has been trading for longer than that, another reason tracking SPAC mergers can be difficult.
A company with the market capitalization of Rocket Lab—about $10 billion based on its fully diluted share count—usually has about 10 analysts covering its stock.
The company did pick up its first rating on Thursday. Canaccord analyst Austin Moeller launched coverage with a Buy rating and a $30 price target. That also boosted shares Thursday.
The company said it was happy with its progress.
“In the first half of 2021, we continued our track record of consistent execution across launch and space systems,” said CEO Peter Beck in the company’s news release.
The company also announced Wednesday a deal to launch 25 satellites on five missions for Kineis, a company building a constellation of small satellites for the Internet of Things, or devices with connectivity enabled.
The network that Kineis is building can deliver connectivity in remote locations, like farms or at sea, helping businesses cut costs by managing operations more effectively.
Rocket Lab stock had been on a tear. Shares are up 100% over the past month. The
has gained about 1% over the same period, while the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
has dropped about 1%.
It’s difficult to know exactly what has been behind the gains—before the new Buy rating. New business announcements, like the Kineis deal, made over the past few weeks are probably the biggest reason for gains.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]