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Rocket Lab Announces First Quarter 2023 Financial Results, Issues Guidance For Continued Growth In Second Quarter 2023

May 9, 2023

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. shared the financial results for fiscal first quarter 2023, ended March 31, 2023.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, said: “Rocket Lab started the year strong with three successful Electron missions in the first quarter across our global launch facilities and to date, remains the only commercial U.S. small launch vehicle to successfully deliver satellites to orbit in 2023. At a time when we’re starting to see a contraction of available small rockets, we’re also seeing an increase in launch bookings for Electron launches in 2023 and beyond from new and returning customers across government and commercial sectors. The development of our larger rocket Neutron is continuing at pace with launch and testing facilities expanded, engine hardware being printed at our headquarters in Long Beach, and vehicle hardware in production for upcoming structural tests throughout the year that we expect will keep the program on track. Space Systems also continues its strong performance, with the majority of our products supporting customer missions across several launches in the quarter, and major program milestones reached on Photon spacecraft build programs for government and commercial customers.” 

First Quarter 2023 Business Highlights:

Delivered financial results that exceeded the high end of prior guidance for revenue and gross margin.

Launched three successful Electron missions in the first quarter for commercial constellation operators HawkEye 360, Capella Space, and BlackSky.

Successfully completed the Company’s first launch from its U.S. launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2, at the Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on January 24, 2023. The mission deployed three satellites for radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360.

Successfully completed the Company’s fastest turnaround between launches to date – just seven days between its 34th Electron launch, “Stronger Together”, from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 in Virginia on March 16, 2023, and its 35th Electron launch, “The Beat Goes On”, from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on March 24, 2023.

Rocket Lab remains the only U.S. commercial small launch provider to successfully deliver satellites to orbit in 2023.

Secured a multi-mission contract with Capella Space to launch four more dedicated launches on Electron in 2023.

Achieved programmatic milestones for the Company’s two Photon spacecraft to support NASA’s ESCAPADE mission to Mars, and for the Photon spacecraft for a Varda Space Industries’ mission to manufacture high-value products in zero gravity. Both Photon programs include Rocket Lab star trackers, reaction wheels, solar panels, flight software, and radios – demonstrating the value and strength of the Company’s vertical integration and in-house supply chain.

Business Highlights Since March 31, 2023:

Successfully deployed two satellites to space for NASA’s TROPICS mission on the first of two dedicated launches on Electron for the constellation scheduled in May 2023.

Secured another NASA mission to Electron’s 2023 launch manifest with its Starling mission. Rocket Lab was selected by NASA to launch the Starling mission on an expedited timeline due to long delays and uncertainty with the mission’s original launch provider.

Signed multiple new launch contracts on Electron for 2023 for undisclosed commercial satellite customers previously manifested on another small launch vehicle, demonstrating Electron’s strong position as a reliable and dependable ride to orbit for small satellite operators.

Introduced Rocket Lab’s new HASTE launch vehicle, a suborbital testbed launch vehicle derived from the Company’s Electron rocket to provide reliable, high-cadence flight test opportunities to support the development of advanced hypersonic systems technology.

Announced that the Company will fly a pre-launched 3D printed Rutherford engine on an upcoming mission in Q3’23, a major step in evolving the Electron launch vehicle into a reusable rocket.

Second Quarter 2023 Guidance

For the second quarter of 2023, Rocket Lab expects: 

Revenue between $60 million and $63 million.

Launch Services revenue of approximately $23 million.

Space Systems revenue of between $37 million to $40 million.

GAAP Gross Margins between 14% to 16%.

Non-GAAP Gross Margins between 22% to 24%.

GAAP Operating Expenses between $55 million to $57 million.

Non-GAAP Operating Expenses between $41 million to $43 million.

Expected Interest Expense (Income), net $1 million.

Adjusted EBITDA loss of $22 million to $24 million.

Basic Shares Outstanding of 480 million.


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