Author Topic: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?  (Read 55525 times)

maizefolk

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #500 on: November 05, 2022, 07:30:37 PM »
It can take a lot of attempts to get innovation right in rocketry. The good think for RL is that they're in a similar position to SpaceX when SpaceX was first trying to get first stage landing right: they're getting paid to launch the rockets and can take as many shots on goals as needed to get their R&D add on (landing for spacex, catching for rocketlab) right.

I highly recommend this montage of all the different rockets SpaceX lost learning how to land a rocket over ~3 years before the first time they actually succeed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ

Now it's a routine process. RocketLab isn't quite hitting their one launch a month target cadence, but they're launching faster than spaceX was back in 2013-16, so hopefully it won't take them three years to get enough reps to figure this out.

alcon835

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #501 on: November 08, 2022, 06:32:50 AM »
It can take a lot of attempts to get innovation right in rocketry. The good think for RL is that they're in a similar position to SpaceX when SpaceX was first trying to get first stage landing right: they're getting paid to launch the rockets and can take as many shots on goals as needed to get their R&D add on (landing for spacex, catching for rocketlab) right.

Yes, I believe Rocket Lab can and will solve these issues, it's more a matter of how long that will take. And, as you rightly point out, they get paid for each attempt!

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #502 on: November 12, 2022, 11:32:12 AM »
RKLB at $5.13 a share, average cost per share $5.53 after all my nibbles. Really glad the nibbles at 3.85, 4.10, etc brought the average down. Almost at breakeven! Rise, RocketLab, rise!


It rose! Irrelevant to the company as a whole, but at yesterday's close of $5.63, finally reached the first few pennies of unrealized gain. The rocket is 10 millimeters off the launching pad. :)

(Temporarily. I'm enjoying this while it lasts because I fully expect it to be lower at some point. Maybe as soon as Monday!)

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #503 on: November 12, 2022, 12:22:53 PM »
The market reacted really strongly to that 7.7% CPI-U print, lifting Rocket Lab off the launch pad with the rest of the stocks.  Meta (+21.3%) has done better than Rocket Lab (+10.6%) since I switched - I think layoffs at Meta provided the first evidence of cost controls.

According to Yahoo Finance, Rocket Lab has $500 million in cash, which looks like about 5 years worth.  It looks like they'd last longer than most companies if bad economic conditions drag on for a few years.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #504 on: November 13, 2022, 02:24:20 AM »
Some sort of tent has been erected at the Neutron production site:
https://www.reddit.com/r/RKLB/comments/ytjio5/november_12_visit_to_the_wallops_neutron/

Interesting! I wonder what's going on in there?

Herbert Derp

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #505 on: November 14, 2022, 04:33:43 PM »
CAPSTONE has successfully reached the moon!
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/11/the-first-cubesat-to-fly-and-operate-at-the-moon-has-successfully-arrived/

Also, Rocket Lab just landed a contract to provide separation systems for US military satellites:
https://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-wins-14-million-in-contracts-to-supply-hardware-for-u-s-military-satellites/

Finally, Rocket Lab will be supplying the “Satellite Operations Control Center” for the Globalstar satellites that they are building:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rocket-lab-selected-mda-deliver-211000419.html

These are small wins, but it’s good to see progress being made!

TomTX

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #506 on: November 16, 2022, 08:02:07 PM »
I doubt SpaceX would be interested in buying Rocket Lab. Rocket Lab doesn’t have anything that SpaceX needs, their carbon fiber rocket technology is fundamentally different and incompatible with what SpaceX is doing, and SpaceX would much rather do things in house. In my opinion, it would be easier for SpaceX to just build their own version of whatever Rocket Lab is doing than to actually acquire Rocket Lab.
Sorry for being late to the party...

Anyway, I agree.

SpaceX tried carbon fiber as a first material choice for Starship and gave up on it, dumping many millions of dollars of custom equipment they had purchased. They already know how to build, launch and land larger scale rockets. They build (and rapidly iterate) their own satellites inhouse - currently they have the largest satellite fleet of any company or country. Not seeing what a Rocketlab purchase would do for them.

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #507 on: November 17, 2022, 09:33:58 AM »
RKLB now at $4.46, down from $5.64 at 3:30 Friday 11th and $5.22 yesterday 3:45 pm. Anybody know why?

AlanStache

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #508 on: November 17, 2022, 10:29:57 AM »
RKLB now at $4.46, down from $5.64 at 3:30 Friday 11th and $5.22 yesterday 3:45 pm. Anybody know why?

Success of SLS?  Different class but still demonstrates others can build rockets

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #509 on: November 17, 2022, 01:13:55 PM »
RKLB now at $4.46, down from $5.64 at 3:30 Friday 11th and $5.22 yesterday 3:45 pm. Anybody know why?

Success of SLS?  Different class but still demonstrates others can build rockets

Thanks for reply, @AlanStache!

That's an interesting idea. I'd assumed that was good news, not bad, but you've pointed out it could be construed the other way.

Absent clearer info, I settled for buying a nibble or two.

Still open to other info too for understanding's sake. Maybe RKLB investors overlap with crypto and somebody needed to sell a lot RKLB to cover something not rocket-related?

TomTX

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #510 on: November 17, 2022, 03:40:58 PM »
RKLB now at $4.46, down from $5.64 at 3:30 Friday 11th and $5.22 yesterday 3:45 pm. Anybody know why?

Success of SLS?  Different class but still demonstrates others can build rockets
SLS is an INSANELY overpriced rocket stack. SLS+Orion has cost over $50B in development costs (plus whatever else was buried) - and each launch is an additional $4B.

SLS should have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on commercial rocketry. SLS only exists as it is due to a massive Congressional pork mandate. NASA is required to develop SLS and Orion, using "legacy" contractors.

AlanStache

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #511 on: November 18, 2022, 02:16:56 PM »
RKLB now at $4.46, down from $5.64 at 3:30 Friday 11th and $5.22 yesterday 3:45 pm. Anybody know why?

Success of SLS?  Different class but still demonstrates others can build rockets
SLS is an INSANELY overpriced rocket stack. SLS+Orion has cost over $50B in development costs (plus whatever else was buried) - and each launch is an additional $4B.

SLS should have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on commercial rocketry. SLS only exists as it is due to a massive Congressional pork mandate. NASA is required to develop SLS and Orion, using "legacy" contractors.

yep to all that. 

Herbert Derp

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #512 on: November 23, 2022, 12:38:31 AM »
Rocket Lab announced their Q3 2022 earnings results a few days ago:
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/09/rocket-lab-q3-results-record-revenue-added-contract-wins.html

Looks like it is more of the same. Revenue continues to grow and costs are under control. However, no new major contracts were signed and the revenue backlog shrunk again.

You can listen to the conference call here if you are interested:
https://investors.rocketlabusa.com/events-and-presentations/events/event-details/2022/Third-Quarter-2022-Financial-Results-Update-and-Conference-Call/default.aspx

One key piece of information that was shared in the conference call is that Rocket Lab needs 16 Electron launches per year for Electron to become profitable. They hope to launch 14 Electrons in 2023. Rocket Lab hopes to be profitable once Neutron R&D spending winds down in 2024.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 01:15:38 AM by Herbert Derp »

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #513 on: November 23, 2022, 01:29:31 AM »
Reading the report, revenue is expected to drop in 4th quarter. However the majority of 3Q revenue ($40.1M of ~63M) is from space systems rather than launch, which I guess is good for the future.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #514 on: November 23, 2022, 04:07:05 PM »
NASA has just awarded a contract for the remaining two launches for the TROPICS hurricane tracking constellation to Rocket Lab. These launches had previously been contracted to Astra, who cancelled their rocket program after failing the first TROPICS launch and losing two of NASA’s six TROPICS satellites.

The two launches will launch back-to-back over a 60-day period beginning no earlier than May 1, 2023, enabling NASA to provide observations during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1. Great news for Rocket Lab! I wonder if these two launches were included in the 14 Electron launches Rocket Lab projected for 2023 in their recent conference call?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 04:12:19 PM by Herbert Derp »

LightStache

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #515 on: November 23, 2022, 08:50:17 PM »
Interestingly ASTR is also up today despite the TROPICS launch contracts announcement.

I'm just jumping into this thread, but I'm in the industry (albeit only for 30 more days) and have kept an eye on RKLB for several years. They're the real deal, likely to survive the small launch industry shakeout.

Unfortunately it's still damn hard to tell what their revenue growth is going to look like and whether broader economics will lift the share price over the medium term. Should I take a gamble?



BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #516 on: November 23, 2022, 10:54:24 PM »
Lol, I was hoping you would tell us :)

Herbert Derp

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #517 on: November 24, 2022, 04:06:10 AM »
Should I take a gamble?

None of us can tell you what to do. We just like the stock!

alcon835

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #518 on: November 25, 2022, 09:51:12 AM »
I wonder if these two launches were included in the 14 Electron launches Rocket Lab projected for 2023 in their recent conference call?

This is what I would like to know as well! If they become profitable in 2023, that would be quite a thing.

Should I take a gamble?

That's of course up to you, but whatever you decide, I'd be very interested to hear your reasoning! What do you do in the industry?

LightStache

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #519 on: November 25, 2022, 01:30:36 PM »
Lol, I was hoping you would tell us :)

Ha, that was a rhetorical question. I took a very risky gamble this morning ... not sure I'm ready to share anything more than it's a long position.

Here's what I like: #1 RKLB is flight proven with demonstrated reliability. Potential customers, governments, insurers, and financiers are going to take them more seriously than, say, Relativity. #2 They have recurring revenue and the business is diversified. #3 Their launch model, with unique launch sites and dedicated launchers, differentiates them from their larger competitors. #4 Their deal with Apple/GlobalStar/MDA has potential, including stock-moving revenue growth. #5 They seem to be expanding cautiously.

Here's what I don't like: #1 SpaceX's huge lead in the same business areas, incl. med/heavy launch, rideshare, Starlink and the partnership with T-Mobile. #2 Neutron design seems to be very immature, suggesting it won't be operational several years. Side note, hopefully they come around to a ship based recovery option. #3 They are relatively late in the economic cycle relative to business growth stages. #4 They're not well positioned to capture the big money U.S. government contracts from SDA, NASA, and Space Force. #5 Limited existing TAM (overstated in their docs) for some of their recent initiatives.

Weighing all of this, I can't help but the stock is too beaten down at a $2B market cap. I can see many scenarios to $10B in a year or two. There are certainly scenarios where it goes completely bust, but those are much less probable IMO. I'll be following things VERY closely for awhile.

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #520 on: November 25, 2022, 07:24:23 PM »
Lol, I was hoping you would tell us :)

Ha, that was a rhetorical question. I took a very risky gamble this morning ... not sure I'm ready to share anything more than it's a long position.

Here's what I like: #1 RKLB is flight proven with demonstrated reliability. Potential customers, governments, insurers, and financiers are going to take them more seriously than, say, Relativity. #2 They have recurring revenue and the business is diversified. #3 Their launch model, with unique launch sites and dedicated launchers, differentiates them from their larger competitors. #4 Their deal with Apple/GlobalStar/MDA has potential, including stock-moving revenue growth. #5 They seem to be expanding cautiously.

Here's what I don't like: #1 SpaceX's huge lead in the same business areas, incl. med/heavy launch, rideshare, Starlink and the partnership with T-Mobile. #2 Neutron design seems to be very immature, suggesting it won't be operational several years. Side note, hopefully they come around to a ship based recovery option. #3 They are relatively late in the economic cycle relative to business growth stages. #4 They're not well positioned to capture the big money U.S. government contracts from SDA, NASA, and Space Force. #5 Limited existing TAM (overstated in their docs) for some of their recent initiatives.

Weighing all of this, I can't help but the stock is too beaten down at a $2B market cap. I can see many scenarios to $10B in a year or two. There are certainly scenarios where it goes completely bust, but those are much less probable IMO. I'll be following things VERY closely for awhile.

(sorry) @LightStache, what is TAM?

maizefolk

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #521 on: November 25, 2022, 09:32:57 PM »
In this context I think it stands for "total addressable market" (i.e. how big is the total market for launches small enough to fit on proton, or on neutron, or the market for assembling satellites)

BicycleB

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Re: Rocket Lab (RKLB) - Finally a decent space company that we can invest in?
« Reply #522 on: November 25, 2022, 11:07:42 PM »
In this context I think it stands for "total addressable market" (i.e. how big is the total market for launches small enough to fit on proton, or on neutron, or the market for assembling satellites)

Thanks, that makes sense

LightStache

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In this context I think it stands for "total addressable market" (i.e. how big is the total market for launches small enough to fit on proton, or on neutron, or the market for assembling satellites)

Thanks, that makes sense

Right, I was looking at their Sep Investor Day briefing and thought both current stated TAM and growth through 2030 were overstated.

If we look at the launch market only, SpaceX probably has between $2B-$2.5B in revenue: https://payloadspace.com/spacexs-22-revenues-a-reformed-wall-street-analysts-best-guess/

SpaceX has completed 52 launches this year out of a global addressable market of 79, implying a capture of 66%. But we need to back out Starlink because that's arguably not part of the market and, even if it is, not addressable by RKLB. So that gives us 21 SpaceX launches out of 48, or a capture of 44% of TAM.

That implies a 2022 launch TAM for RKLB of $4.5B - $5.7B, which is way smaller than the ~$20B stated in their briefing. When they combine that with an optimistic 12.8% CAGR, the projections are pretty unrealistic.

But like I said above, they seem to be conservative with their facility footprint, so even if their TAMs are overestimated, RKLB won't be crushed by stupid fixed cost investments. Their Neutron "Production Complex" looks both small and cheap, which is great. Out there in BF Virginia they'll be able to expand easily if their manifest grows.