Stock in space-and-satellite-services firm Rocket Lab USA has surged recently after a string of new business wins. Shareholders are likely happy, as long as they can avoid looking too much at SpaceX valuations.
Rocket Lab (ticker: RKLB) stock is up roughly 30% over the past three months following new business awards from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Space Force and a number of new private businesses looking to start up commercial-space businesses.Monday, the company announced two upcoming launches for BlackSky Technology (BKSY), one of those commercial space startups launching low-cost satellites into orbit to image the Earth.Two launch missions are now slated for November and each mission will carry two satellites, adding to BlackSky’s constellation of satellites monitoring the planet on a real-time basis. BlackSky’s geospatial data can be sold to governments and companies looking to monitor, well, anything such as forest health or ships at sea.
The launch announcements aren’t enough to boost the stock Monday, however. Rocket Lab stock is down 2.5% in early trading. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are both up about 0.1%.
SpaceX, however, recently hit a $100 billion valuation based on private sales of some of its stock. SpaceX didn’t respond to a request for comment about the stock sales or valuation. That’s up about 35% from $74 billion reported earlier in 2021.
Still, Rocket Lab’s three-month 30% rise is pretty good. The company looks solid and has a market capitalization of $6.8 billion.SpaceX has had a pretty impressive year too—sending astronauts to the International Space Station, sending civilian astronauts into orbit and launching its high-speed internet service dubbed Starlink.
Barron’s recently wrote positively about Rocket Lab, calling the company a mini-SpaceX. Rocket Lab has similar capabilities and ambitions as SpaceX—it’s just smaller. Both companies are benefiting from more new commercial-space business that has been enabled by falling launch and satellite costs.