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Rocket Lab Beats Guidance in Q1, Reporting $55M in Revenue 

By Rachel Jewett | May 11, 2023

Rocket Lab launches the first TROPICS mission for NASA on May 8 from New Zealand. Photo: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab increased revenue 35% in the first quarter of 2023, beating the upper end of its previous guidance for the quarter. 

The launcher reported $54.9 million in revenue in its Q1 results released Tuesday. Its previous guidance was $51 million to $54 million. This was also a boost of 6% quarter-on-quarter. 

Net loss was $45.6 million, an increase from $26.7 million net loss the same time last year. The company has $208.4 million in cash on hand. 

Revenue in the Launch business was $19.6 million, up from $12 million in the prior quarter, as the company performed three launches — including its first launch from the United States. 

Rocket Lab saw its fastest turnaround between two launches this quarter, launching from Virginia and then New Zealand within seven days. 

“Not only was this our fastest turnaround for launch to-date, but by doing it from two different launch sites in countries really demonstrated the level of flexibility and responsiveness that we’re delivering to customers now. Achieving this high launch cadence early in the year sets us up well to hit our 15 Electron missions for 2023 as planned,” CEO Peter Beck said on a call with investors. 

Revenue in Space Systems was $35.3 million, down from $39.8 million in the prior quarter. 

“We are getting a lot of increased high-value opportunities for not only on the component side, but also on the full spacecraft side,” Beck said of the demand environment for Space Systems. “We’re going after large chunky programs then when they do close, will be meaningful movers to overall backlog.” 

Rocket Lab ended Q1 with $494.2 million in backlog, a decrease of $9.4 million from the prior quarter, which the company was due to recognizing revenue in the quarter, and larger potential deals taking longer to close. 

For the second quarter, Rocket Lab expects revenue to range between $60 million to $63 million.