California-based launch provider Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) last week reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $47.5 million for the first quarter.
The company, which offers launch services and other space technologies, reported revenue of $3.9 million in Q1 while costs for the quarter clocked in at $11 million, including $5.5 million for two launches, Chief Financial Officer Kelyn Brannon said during the earnings call.
Astra has yet to report profits but retains cash on hand and continues to make investments, according to the presentation. In 2021, the company raised $464 million in a SPAC transaction. For Q1 2022, capital expenditures totaled $15.1 million, while the company reported $161.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.
“We continue to make targeted investments to enhance our launch capabilities and product roadmap while managing our cash position,” Brannon said last week in a statement.
The report is roughly on track with Astra’s predictions: During the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call, Brannon forecasted Q1 2022 capital expenditures of $10 million to $15 million with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $44 million to $48 million.
“1Q22 losses/cash burn came in a bit worse than we had expected mainly due to lower margins on the current gen rocket and higher capex; 2Q guidance also suggests larger losses/cash burn as Astra front loads spending ahead of the transition to next-gen Rocket 4,” Edison Yu, Deutsche Bank research analyst, wrote in a May 6 note.
“In the near term, we think investors are still not willing to give credit to Astra for recent achievements given current market backdrop and the true threshold for a re-rate of the stock is super high, requiring demonstration of not only consistent execution but also market viability for its small launch approach,” Yu added.
Launches with varying degrees of success
Astra has secured orders for 61 spacecraft engines to date.
“This has been a quarter of accelerating investment, customer adoption of our space technology products, and growth in our customer pipeline,” Chief Executive Chris Kemp said in a May 4 statement.
After multiple failed launches, Astra conducted its first successful mission in November 2021, delivering a payload for U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program into orbit. The company conducted two additional launches in Q1 with varying degrees of success. During the first launch, the company’s rocket successfully took off from Cape Canaveral, but was unable to deliver payloads for the customer due to an anomaly at stage separation. The second launch, which departed from Kodiak, Alaska, successfully delivered 22 payloads into orbit.
The company was one of 12 launch providers selected in January for NASA’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) contract, an effort to utilize new commercial launch services for small science and technology payloads. Under the contract, Astra will be competing for up to $300 million in NASA launch contracts over the next five years.
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