Rocket Lab has announced a 7% year-over-year increase in revenue for the third quarter of 2023, generating $67.7 million in revenue. The company’s net loss for the quarter was $40.6 million.
The revenue figure of $67.7 million falls within the high end of Rocket Lab’s revised guidance range of $66 million to $68 million. The increase in revenue, up 9% sequentially, can be attributed to the manufacturing contract with MDA to build satellite buses for the Globalstar.
Space Systems, the leading division of Rocket Lab’s business, contributed $46.3 million in revenue for the quarter, marking a 17% sequential increase and surpassing the high end of its revised guidance range.
The Launch business segment generated $21.3 million during the quarter. However, Rocket Lab experienced a launch failure, forcing Electron missions to be put on hold until the issue is resolved.
CEO Peter Beck explained that the failure was a complex issue to diagnose, as there was only 1.6 seconds of anomaly flight data available. Rocket Lab’s analysis suggests that there was an unexpected electrical arc in the power system.
Rocket Lab anticipates concluding its anomaly investigation in the coming weeks and plans to open the launch window for its return to flight mission on November 28, extending into December. The upcoming mission will be dedicated to the Japanese-based Earth imaging company iQPS.
Looking ahead to 2024, Rocket Lab has a fully booked launch manifest, with 22 missions scheduled. The company aims to conduct five launches in the first quarter and six in the second quarter. CEO Peter Beck highlighted the strong demand for dedicated missions for small satellites and expressed confidence in the market for the Electron product.
For the fourth quarter, Rocket Lab expects revenue to range between $65 million and $69 million. This would result in full-year 2023 revenue between $249.6 million and $253.6 million.
Rocket Lab ended the third quarter with a total backlog of $582.4 million, comprising launch backlog of $260.7 million and Space Systems backlog of $331.7 million. The total backlog increased by 9% sequentially, primarily driven by strong launch bookings.
CFO Adam Spice emphasized that Rocket Lab has shown progress towards its long-term financial goals, with consistent revenue growth, expanding gross margins, and shrinking adjusted EBITDA losses each quarter. With a strong launch manifest and increased contribution from Space Systems contract execution in 2024, the company expects these positive trends to continue.