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Spire Impacted by Solar Activity and USG Order Delays in Q1

By Rachel Jewett | May 16, 2024

      Rendering of Spire satellites. Photo: Spire

      Revenue at Spire Global fell below expectations in the first quarter of 2024, impacted by increased solar activity, U.S. government order delays, and a propulsion unit performance. Spire reported Q1 results on May 15, lowering its 2024 guidance while affirming the company is on track to reach positive free cash flow this summer.

      The company reported $25.7 million in Q1 revenue, below projected guidance of $27 million and $29 million for the quarter. Q1 revenue increased 6% compared to the same time last year. 

      CFO Leo Basola told investors that Spire’s satellite constellation was impacted by increased solar cycle activity that led to Spire deorbiting some satellites early. There was also a delay with implementing countermeasures that impacted data delivery to some customers. 

      New and follow-on orders from the U.S. government were also delayed because the continuing resolution was not adopted until late in the first quarter. Basola said that impacted orders and revenue during the quarter. 

      In addition, a third party propulsion unit underperformed and Spire saw a longer delay from satellite launch to full operation, costing the company some revenue. 

      Non-GAAP operating loss in the first quarter was $7 million, reflecting a 28% improvement year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was negative $1.1 million — an 84% improvement over the prior year. 

      “Consistent with our commitment to our number one near-term priority of achieving profitability, we kept our costs under tight control and landed at the mid-point of our first quarter non-GAAP operating loss and adjusted EBITDA guidance,” Basola said. 

      Spire expects to reach positive adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter and leadership confirmed the company is on track for positive free cash flow this summer. 

      The company lowered full-year revenue guidance from its previous expectation of between $138 million and $148 million to between $122 million and $132 million.