Space truly is the final frontier for many investors. Increasingly, NASA and other government agencies are turning to private sector companies for help with things such as launching satellites and ferrying supplies to the International Space Station and building a lunar space station. Harvard Business Review declared “The Commercial Space Age Is Here” back in a February 2021 article. Investors would be wise to consider the best space stocks to buy now.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley has issued a report called “Space: Investing in the Final Frontier.” In it, the bank forecasts that the global space industry could generate annual revenue of more than $1 trillion by 2040. That’s a lot of money for an emerging and highly technical sector.
The momentum found in commercial space companies shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Here are three promising space stocks to buy now before they soar.
Iridium Communications (IRDM)
Iridium Communications (NASDAQ:IRDM) is a satellite company. It operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a network of 66 satellites that orbit the Earth and facilitates voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceivers.
The company offers internet and voice services that cover 100% of the world, which enables it to sell access to its satellite network to other companies. Iridium’s subscriber model provides it with a predictable income stream and is key to its success.
For this year’s first quarter, Iridium reported earnings per share (EPS) of 8 cents, up 300% from 2 cents a year earlier. Q1 revenue jumped 22% from a year ago to $205.3 million. Both metrics beat Wall Street’s forecasts. Iridium also repurchased $53.1 million of its own stock during Q1, up from $7.7 million in the previous quarter.
IRDM stock is up 81% over the past 12 months, including a 23% gain in 2023.
While most investors are familiar with Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) commercial aircraft manufacturing business, they are less aware of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security division. Through this unit, Boeing is very involved in all aspects of space.
Work undertaken by Boeing includes research on the International Space Station, deep-space exploration, development of commercial spacecraft, and systems to propel mankind into deep space with its Space Launch System rocket. Boeing even claims to be involved in planning for future missions to Mars.
In its space work, much of which is conducted for NASA and the U.S. government’s Space Force, Boeing has partnered with leading defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT).
Despite some continuing issues with its commercial airplanes, BA stock has gained 32.5% in the past 12 months and nearly 8% in 2023.
Planet Labs (PL)
Planet Labs (NYSE:PL) is a satellite maker that uses its technology to image the Earth daily to detect changes and trends. Its technology can be used for everything from predicting weather patterns to tracking the movements of Russia’s military within Ukraine.
The company was founded in 2010 and went public in 2021 via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal. Since its market debut, PL stock has declined by around 60%.
While many analysts are bullish on Planet Labs’ technology and future, the stock has retreated largely because the company is still unprofitable. However, there are indications that Planet Labs’ finances are improving and its stock is stabilizing.
The company announced fourth-quarter 2022 earnings that showed strong revenue growth, as well as improving margins and narrowing losses. Revenue was up 43% year over year, while its gross profit margin increased to 54.9% from 37.5%. And shares are up 20% since hitting a 52-week low in March.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.