Latest News

BlackSky Narrowly Posts its First Profit in Q3 Results

By Rachel Jewett | November 8, 2023

Rendering of a BlackSky satellite. Photo: BlackSky

BlackSky posted a net income of $675,000 in the third quarter of 2023, marking the first time the company has posted a positive net income. 

However, CFO Henry Dubois noted on Wednesday’s call with investors that this was primarily due to accounting treatment of the company’s warrant liability exposure. Discounting warrant gains and losses, BlackSky’s net loss in Q3 2023 was a $3.9 million improvement over the net loss in Q3 2022.

BlackSky is on track to achieve positive Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter, CEO Brian O’Toole said. 

Revenue in Q3 was a record $21.3 million, up 26% year-over-year. 

Imagery and software analytical services revenue was $15.3 million in the third quarter, up 11% over the prior year period, with increased demand from new and existing U.S. and international government customers. 

Professional and engineering services revenue, a smaller portion of BlackSky’s business, was $6.0 million in the third quarter of 2023. This was up 86% year-over-year because of new programs the company won in 2023.

“We continue to see growing demand from government agencies around the world for BlackSky space-based intelligence capabilities, and are capitalizing on this opportunity by successfully converting our increasing sales pipeline into new and expanded contracts,” CEO Brian O’Toole told investors on Wednesday. “The combination of our growing customer base, effective cost management, and the strong operating leverage of our business has us on a clear path towards long term profitable growth.”

In addition, BlackSky improved the cost of sales, as a percent of revenue for imagery & software analytical services — to 23% from 26% in the prior year quarter. 

BlackSky narrowed the range of its 2023 revenue outlook, lowering the top end of guidance. BlackSky now expects 2023 revenue between $84 million and $90 million, representing a 33% increase over 2022 revenue. The previous revenue guidance gave a wider range of between $84 million and $96 million. 

O’Toole said BlackSky narrowed guidance because of the timing of contracts yet to close. 

BlackSky also increased its expectations for capital expenditures for the full year. The company now expects full year CapEx between $48 million and $54 million, compared to previous guidance of between $40 million and $45 million, due to its third generation satellite constellation. 

O’Toole told investors that the Gen-3 satellite program is on track for launch in 2024. BlackSky is receiving critical and long lead components and moving into the assembly and integration of the first units and also scaling its satellite manufacturing production line.

The company’s backlog at the end of September was about $252 million.

In addition, BlackSky reported it has integrated its high frequency imagery services with the National Reconnaissance Office’s commercial imagery and architecture for the Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) contract. This means that BlackSKy can deliver its imagery to government end users via APIs. 

O’Toole said BlackSky has been working with the NRO on this integration since the beginning of the contract. “In Q3, we successfully completed the initial operating capability or IOC milestone required under the contract. BlackSky is the first commercial imagery company to successfully integrate and validate performance of this architecture. This was an important milestone, as it further improves access and utilization of BlackSky’s imagery within the U.S. government,” he said.