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Rocket Lab Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Financial Results, Issues Guidance for the First Quarter 2022

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 2, 2022
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  • $2.8 million net income for fourth quarter
  • $117.75 million net loss for the year
  • $27.5 million in revenues for fourth quarter
  • $62.2 million in revenues for the year

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021.

“In 2021, we made significant progress on our strategy to grow Rocket Lab from a launch provider to an end-to-end space company delivering technology and services spanning the full space economy,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “Not only did we launch six missions and retain Electron’s position as the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket, we also expanded our space systems capabilities with the acquisition of Planetary Systems Corporation and ASI Aerospace LLC, and we signed an agreement to acquire SolAero Technologies Inc., which subsequently closed on January 17, 2022. These strategic acquisitions, combined with the continued growth of our existing flagship launch and spacecraft programs, strengthen Rocket Lab’s position as a leading mission partner spanning satellite design and volume manufacture, satellite component production, flight software and testing, launch, and on-orbit operations. Today, Rocket Lab is supplying hardware or services to hundreds of missions currently on orbit and in development, from launching low Earth orbit constellations and developing spacecraft that enable on-orbit manufacturing, to developing flight software for lunar landers and supplying solar panels for interplanetary NASA missions.”

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Financial Highlights:

  • Full year 2021 Revenue of $62.2M, representing year-on-year growth of 77%.
  • Q4 2021 Revenue above high end of prior guidance range at $27.5 million, representing quarterly sequential growth of 420% versus Q3 2021.
  • Q4 2021 saw broad based growth with Launch Services growing by 1126% and Space Systems growing by 229% in quarterly sequential growth.
  • Q4 2021 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins of 24% and 36%, versus (236%) and (84%) in prior quarter Q3 2021.
  • Backlog increased from $183 million at September 30, 2021 to $241 million as of December 30, 2021, and currently stands at $545 million as of February 28, 2022.

Full Year 2021 Business Highlights:

  • Launched six Electron missions, delivering satellites to orbit for commercial and government customers and retaining position as second most frequently launched U.S. orbital rocket.
  • Signed multi-launch agreements with three commercial satellite constellation operators: BlackSky, Synspective, and Kinéis.
  • Awarded $24M Space Force contract to develop Neutron upper stage.
  • Successfully completed two Electron first stage ocean recoveries as part of the program to make Electron a reusable launch vehicle.
  • Passed key design review for twin Photon mission to Mars.
  • Closed the acquisition of ASI Aerospace LLC and Planetary Systems Corporation, and signed an agreement to acquire SolAero Technologies Inc.
  • Successfully launched two dedicated missions for BlackSky, further building out their real-time geospatial and global monitoring constellation.
  • Awarded a contract to launch NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System.

First Quarter 2022 Guidance:

  • Revenue expected to range between $42 million to $47 million.
  • Expect GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins of 17% and 30%, respectively.
  • Expect GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses between $38.0 million to $40.0 million, and $21.0 million to $23.0 million, respectively.
  • Expect GAAP Net Loss between $32.5 million and $34.5 million, and Adjusted EBITDA of negative $3 million to negative $5 million.

Highlights since December 31, 2021:

  • Closed the acquisition of SolAero Technologies Inc., giving Rocket Lab the world’s largest production line of high-performing space solar cells.
  • Awarded $143M contract by MDA to design and manufacture 17 spacecraft for Globalstar.
  • Selected by NASA as one of 12 companies to provide launch services for Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions, a five-year program with a maximum total budget of $300 million in launch contracts.
  • Operationalized third Rocket Lab launch pad, enabling double the launch capacity from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.
  • Developing new space systems complex in Littleton, Colorado that more than triples footprint in Colorado to support ASI Aerospace LLC’s growing customer demand for flight software, mission simulation, and Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) services.
  • Selected Commonwealth of Virginia for Neutron launch site and production complex. Commonwealth of Virginia to invest $45 million in infrastructure and operational systems improvements to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to support Neutron launch and production facilities.

Conference Call Information

Rocket Lab will host a conference call for investors at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) today to discuss these business highlights and financial results, and to provide our outlook for the first quarter ending March 31, 2022 and other updates. The live webcast and a replay of the webcast, along with presentation, will be available on Rocket Lab’s Investor Relations website:

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