Rocket Lab (RKLB) Q4 2022 Quarterly Earnings
Electric rockets are being prepared for launch.
Rocket lab Tuesday that it has doubled its order backlog — from about $241 million in contracts at the end of 2021 to $503.6 million at the end of 2022 — and made progress on the Neutron rocket it is developing.
“2022 we’re generally very, very happy with, and what’s important to me is that we did what we said we were going to do,” Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNBC.
“We’re proud of our execution and we’ll bring ourselves back to execute this year,” Beck said.
The space company also reported fourth-quarter revenue of $51.8 million, up 88% from a year earlier, with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $14.5 million — which was 75% wider than the fourth quarter a year ago. . Cash on hand was $484.3 million at the end of the quarter.
Rocket Lab made two successful launches of its Electron vehicle during the quarter, generating $12 million in revenue. Its broader Space Systems division continues to bring in the majority of its revenue, generating $38.8 million.
The company also announced the completion of the first production building for its Neutron rocket, which was built at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Rocket Lab began making the first Neutron tank structures, as well as building a launch pad for the rocket. As for the next major development milestone, Beck told CNBC it will be when “complete tanks roll out” from his factory.
“With a composite launch vehicle, when the parts themselves come off the molds, that’s a much stronger sign of progress than anything,” Beck said. “To get to that point where we’re at “Actually manufacturing those parts I think is a big milestone in itself, but a bigger milestone is when a tank rolls out the door.”
Along with its results, Rocket Lab announced a contract for four Electron launches from the satellite company Capella Space. These missions are expected to begin in the second half of the year.
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Rocket Lab shares are up 19% so far this year, ending Tuesday at $4.50.
The company launched its first mission from the US last month. It aims to complete up to 14 more Electron launches this year. For the first quarter of 2023, Rocket Lab expects launch revenue of approximately $18 million, and between $32 million and $35 million in Space Systems revenue.
Beck noted that the “very heavy investments” he is making in Neutron are affecting Rocket Lab’s path to profitability.
“I don’t think we’re terribly off our model in that regard, but the rate of consumption and the success of the Neutron program is very much affected, in the end,” Beck said.
The company also announced that David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners is leaving Rocket Lab’s board of directors in the first quarter, after nine years advising the company.
The company’s Electron rocket will lift off from LC-2 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on January 24, 2023.
Brady Kenniston / Rocket Lab