7 Stocks That Could Soar as the Space Race Heats Up 

Stocks to buy

Seven space stocks should be on your watch list this month. These companies are at the forefront of the rapidly growing space industry, which is being driven by increased commercial activities, new technological innovations, and ambitious exploration plans by both private firms and government agencies.

The space economy, which was once dominated by government-funded programs, has now opened up to private enterprises. From companies developing reusable rockets and satellite constellations to those pursuing space tourism and mining asteroids, I feel that there’s a lot of room for the space industry to develop for curious investors.

Now might be a great time for investors to consider buying shares in these companies. The reason is that investor dollars are firmly in other sectors and industries, such as AI and cryptocurrencies, meaning there could be money left on the table for newcomers to pick up.

So here are seven space stocks for investors to buy for this month in March.

AST SpaceMobile (ASTS)

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AST SpaceMobile (NASDAQ:ASTS) aims to bring cell connectivity to global rural populations without the need for cables or towers. It plans on doing this through utilizing patented and licensed technologies to enable its satellites to communicate directly with standard mobile phones on Earth, as well as leveraging phased array antennas and beam-forming technologies to establish links with phones.

For 2024, ASTS is on an ambitious path with plans to launch an initial set of 5 satellites in the first quarter, followed by an additional 20 satellites later in the year. Analysts see this deployment is crucial for validating ASTS’s commercial viability on a broader scale.

Furthermore, ASTS’s revenue projections show a bullish outlook, with forecasts suggesting a leap to $125.13 million in 2024, and some analysts predicting revenues could quadruple to $531 million by 2025. This helps to make it one of those space stocks to buy for early and adventurous investors.

Planet Labs (PL)

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Planet Labs (NYSE:PL) specializes in providing high-resolution satellite imagery for agriculture, government operations, and more. The company operates a fleet of around 200 small satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide frequent, high-resolution imagery of the entire Earth’s landmass. It then sells image data subscriptions and analytics solutions to various customers across multiple industries.

Now might be a good time for investors to scoop up shares of PL stock. For Q3 2024, PL reported an 11% year-over-year growth in revenue, reaching $55.4 million, driven primarily by the civil government and defense markets.

However, PL has revised its revenue outlook for fiscal year 2024 downwards, now expecting revenue in the range of $225 million to $235 million, down from the previously forecasted $248 million to $268 million. This adjustment reflects a 20% growth at the midpoint but also indicates wider losses on an adjusted EBITDA basis.

The positive of this is that this bleak short-term outlook has improved its valuation, as it’s down 46.13% over the past year, and could be in a prime buying zone.

Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

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Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) focuses on space travel and aerospace development. The company plans to operate a SpaceShipTwo spaceplane that launches from a carrier aircraft to take passengers on short sub-orbital spaceflights. Looking ahead, it also aims to offer transportation for space research and potential point-to-point travel applications.

Recently, the company completed its 11th spaceflight, Galactic 06, in 2024, marking the first time private astronauts occupied all four seats. The company is also progressing with its next-generation Delta-class ships, expecting to start testing in 2025 and commence commercial service by 2026.

SPCE is one of those space stocks that investors should have on their radars. Virgin Galactic reported revenue of $2.8 million for Q4 2023 and $6.8 million for fiscal year 2023, primarily driven by commercial space flights and future astronaut membership fees. Moving forward, it plans to tap into the approximately 300,000 individuals for private astronaut space travel, and has plans in place for executing this.

Boeing (BA)

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Boeing (NYSE:BA) operates across various segments, including commercial jetliners and defense, space, and security systems.

BA is a major contractor for NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense on numerous high-profile space projects. The company is currently developing the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft designed to transport crew to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

Despite the negative attention that BA stock has received in the press lately, I believe that most of it will pass, and that its stock price will surge in the coming months and years, as it’s currently down 28.05% year to date.

BA maintains its important defense and space contracts despite the controversy, and it’s currently trading at some very undervalued levels. Namely, it trades at just 1.4 times sales and its forward P/E ratio is a positive measure, which implies that analysts expect that its earnings and fundamentals will improve moving forward.

EchoStar Corporation (SATS)

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EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ:SATS) is a global provider of satellite communications solutions through its two business units: Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services.

I’ve written about SATS before in my previous articles on space stocks here on Investorplace. I still believe that it’s a great pick for investors, as it seeks to unlock considerable shareholder equity from its merger with the DISH network.

Despite these efforts, EchoStar faces high leverage and liquidity risks, although it aims to mitigate these through $150 million in projected cost and revenue synergies by 2025.

I think that SATS offers great value for investors despite these short-term teething problems. Namely, it trades at just 3 times earnings, and 0.2 time sales, making it a very undervalued pick when compared side by side to its peers. EPS improvements are expected throughout FY2024 and beyond, and I think that it will be able to make the best use of the resources from the DISH merger.

Rocket Lab USA (RKLB)

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Rocket Lab USA (NASDAQ:RKLB) offers satellite launch services and spacecraft design solutions, making it one of those space stocks that all investors involved in the industry should know about.

Rocket Lab’s flagship product is the Electron rocket, a small launch vehicle designed to deliver small satellites into low Earth orbit. It’s also making substantial progress on a newer version, the Neutron rocket, which could be accretive for both investors and the company.

RKLB has guided for the first quarter this year, expecting revenue between $92 million and $98 million with GAAP gross margins between 24% and 26%. The company anticipates non-GAAP operating expenses between $62 million and $64 million and an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $28 million to $30 million.

Due to these efforts, analysts have a positive outlook on RKLB, with an average 12-month price target of $7.57, suggesting an increase of 81.53% from the current stock price. The consensus among analysts is a “Strong Buy” rating.

Northrop Grumman (NOC)

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Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) is a leading company in defense and space technology. In the space sector, it’s best known for manufacturing solid rocket motors and boosters for launch vehicles like NASA’s Space Launch System, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V, and the upcoming Vulcan rocket.

NOC could be suitable for investors who prefer to take fewer risks in their investments. This is due to its strong results last year and attractive outlook for FY2024.

In 2023, the company saw a revenue increase of over 7%, with a record backlog exceeding $84 billion. For 2024, NOC has set guidance for 4-5% sales growth and 6% EPS growth. The company aims to deliver $2.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases and plans to increase share repurchases to at least $2 billion in 2024.

Analysts are very bullish on NOC, as they collectively anticipate that its EPS will surge higher than management’s current estimates, predicting an 84.22% increase, while a top-line appreciation is also anticipated.

On the date of publication, Matthew Farley did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Matthew started writing coverage of the financial markets during the crypto boom of 2017 and was also a team member of several fintech startups. He then started writing about Australian and U.S. equities for various publications. His work has appeared in MarketBeat, FXStreet, Cryptoslate, Seeking Alpha, and the New Scientist magazine, among others.

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