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Exploring Top Space Stocks Before the 2024 Solar Eclipse Exploring Top Space Stocks Before the 2024 Solar Eclipse

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The celestial event of the upcoming solar eclipse has galvanized a surge of interest in space stocks, breathing new life into a sector that has weathered its fair share of planetary challenges in recent times.

Current Market Outlook

In the cosmos of finance, space stocks reached for the stars in 2020, achieving meteoric returns of 64%. The subsequent years, however, witnessed a gradual descent back to Earth, with 2022 revealing a 12% setback while still outperforming the S&P 500. As the narrative unfolds with an as-yet undecided denouement for 2023, space stocks are poised to conclude the year on a relatively level playing field.

Future Fortunes in the Space Industry

Amidst fluctuating financial forecasts, the allure of space stocks shines brightly on the horizon. The space sector is on a trajectory to become a colossal $1 trillion market, with some bullish projections reaching stratospheric heights, pegging operational space activities at a jaw-dropping $10 trillion by the year 2050.

On this celestial canvas, three space stocks stand out as celestial bodies orbiting the investment universe, promising long-term potential firmly rooted in concrete economic realities and embodying the best of what the space industry has to offer.

Rocket Lab USA (RKLB)

Person holding smartphone with logo of aerospace company Rocket Lab USA Inc. (RKLB) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display.

Source: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

Rocket Lab USA (NASDAQ:RKLB), while causing ripples in the retail investor pond due to stock dilution, remains a beacon of high-risk, high-reward potential in the long run. The company’s 2023 achievements, including a record number of launches and a lucrative $515 million U.S. government contract for space vehicle construction and servicing, attest to its prowess.

Despite per-share losses below market consensus, Rocket Lab’s 2023 performance shines through, signifying potential growth. The company’s expanding backlog, surpassing $1 billion, bodes well for future cash flows, with nearly half expected to convert into revenue within a year, offsetting any short-term impact of stock dilution.

Lockheed Martin (LMT)

A Lockheed Martin (LMT) Space Systems sign in Sunnyvale, California.

Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), a titan in aerospace and defense, boasts resilience in the broader space arena, shielded by its diversified defense portfolio. This stability not only cushions against market volatility but primes the pump for aerospace ventures, attracting astute investors looking for a blend of stability and growth.

For investors eyeing both value and income, Lockheed Martin emerges as a formidable contender. Its consistent dividend growth over two decades, coupled with a sturdy payout ratio and a nearly 3% yield, underscores its financial robustness and capacity for space expansion through strategic contracts and acquisitions.

Planet Labs PBC (PL)

The Astronomical Rise of Planet Labs PBC in the Space Stock Universe

Delving into Space-based Innovation

Space-based satellite technology is no longer a realm reserved solely for science fiction enthusiasts – it has become a pivotal asset for various industries such as defense, agriculture, and infrastructure. Among the constellation of space stocks, Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL) emerges as a standout player, focusing its orbit exclusively on harnessing the power of space imagery for a multitude of applications.

Financial Health and Orbital Trajectory

While some space stocks are still finding their footing in the industry, Planet Labs demonstrates a comparatively steady financial pulse. In the third quarter, the company recorded losses of $0.13 per share, surpassing predictions. Noteworthy is that Planet Labs operates debt-free, boasting total assets of $713.5 million and current assets amounting to $387 million. With a current ratio hovering between 2.92 and 4.92, depending on revenue accounting practices, the company exudes a semblance of financial robustness.

Navigating the Ionized Waters of Cash Burn

A significant concern looming over Planet Labs’ trajectory is its current cash burn rate, clocking in at approximately $90 million in free cash flow. Should this velocity persist, the company might find itself in the gravitational pull of seeking external funding through equity sales or debt procurement. Given the prevailing climate of elevated interest rates, opting for equity issuance or convertible debt may chart the most feasible course ahead for Planet Labs in navigating its financial voyage.

Charting Stellar Courses in a Galaxy of Uncertainty

In an era where space stocks are capturing the imagination of investors, Planet Labs PBC’s strategic focus on satellite technology for essential sectors positions it as a celestial entity to watch. Its recent contract with the U.S. Navy to bolster maritime surveillance only adds more fuel to the rocket of possibilities for the company. The space stock landscape may be vast and uncharted, but with its financial fortitude and ambitious trajectory, Planet Labs shines as a stellar contender in the cosmic investment universe.

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