Spacex stock symbol

Spacex stock symbol DEFAULT

Will Elon Musk's SpaceX Go Public?

SpaceX is a privately-funded rocket manufacturer and transport services company. Also known as Space Exploration Technologies, it was founded by Elon Musk. SpaceX has developed a reusable rocket and launch system to significantly reduce the cost of space flight. On May 30, 2020, SpaceX launched its first-ever crewed mission, a test flight called Demo-2 that sent NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS). A loftier goal is to crew a space mission to Mars by 2024.  While the company prepares to reach new heights, there's a lot of speculation on whether Musk may take his space technology public. Read on to learn more about this space technology company and whether investors will ever see it go public in an initial public offering (IPO).

Key Takeaways

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk doesn't plan to take SpaceX public.
  • According to the company, the short-term demands of shareholders conflict with his long-term ambitions.
  • Although reports suggest SpaceX could spin-off its Starlink satellite business, Musk says he has given no thought to the possibility.

An Overview of SpaceX

Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 to change space technology and make exploration possible to people beyond trained astronauts. Based in Hawthorne, California, SpaceX has roughly 7,000 employees and remains a private company.

Funding for SpaceX initially came from Musk, who used most of the money he received from the sale of PayPal as capital for the project. It also received funding from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Valor Equity Partners. In January 2015, Google and Fidelity invested $1 billion for a stake of just under 10%.

A key innovation is the company's reusable booster rockets, which can be flown as many as ten times, though none have been flown more than three times. The company's Falcon 9 spacecraft costs $62 million to book, while a mission using the Falcon Heavy costs $90 million.

NASA Relationship

SpaceX has launched dozens of missions from facilities in California, Texas, and Florida.  In 2008, NASA awarded SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). In May 2012, its Dragon spacecraft visited the ISS, which marked the first time a craft developed by a private company had done so. In September 2014, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.6 billion contract to transport NASA astronauts into space. NASA is increasingly relying on private companies for services—much to the benefit of SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Blue Origin, among others. As noted above, SpaceX launched its first-ever crewed mission on May 30, 2020, that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

Musk's Lofty Projects

The company aims to save on manufacturing expenses by pursuing the creation of reusable rockets rather than the industry standard of one-time use rockets, thus decreasing the overall cost of entering space. When you consider the interplanetary goals, it's one of Musk's most exalted goals, even if it's not his first lofty project.

The serial entrepreneur is perhaps best known for co-founding electric car manufacturer Tesla in 2003. He also co-founded the online payment services company that later became PayPal. Other notable projects include The Boring Company, which aims to burrow tunnels underneath cities to relieve traffic congestion, and Neuralink, which is developing interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.

PayPal, which went public in 2002, was quickly snapped up by eBay, and then returned to the public market in 2015. Tesla's shares, on the other hand, debuted in 2010. With Musk's track record, it would not be surprising if SpaceX also went public. According to information provided to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Musk owns 54% of SpaceX and controls voting rights for 78% of the shares.

SpaceX Manufacturing Expediency

SpaceX can launch a rocket for $90 million, compared to $380 million charged by its rivals. The lower cost is due partly to an emphasis on in-house manufacturing. For example, instead of spending $50,000 to $100,000 to purchase radio equipment and other communications gear, SpaceX was able to develop gear in-house for $5,000.

As a private company, SpaceX is free from the restrictions associated with a government bureaucracy that normally plague organizations such as NASA. This allows Musk to move with surprising speed, rapidly creating parts and equipment, securing launchpad sites, and hiring employees from competing companies and universities.

An IPO Is as Far Away as a SpaceX Mars Landing

In 2018, SpaceX logged an estimated $2 billion in launch revenue, compared with an industry-wide total of $8 billion. A research note published by Morgan Stanley in March 2020 valued SpaceX at $52 billion, based on its Starlink satellite broadband business. Gwynne Shotwell, the company's president and chief operating officer (COO), said Starlink could be a candidate for a spinoff IPO, but Musk said he gave no thought to such a move.

Unique in the story of SpaceX is the company's government contracts, which Musk is likely to want to keep. A public offering for the broader company could deter the security of future government contracts, though the necessity of NASA outsourcing may override a decision to turn away from SpaceX due to a public offering.

By operating privately, SpaceX is free from the burdens of transparency and shareholder claims. He can do as he wants, when he wants, to promote the company's goals. The presence of Boeing as a publicly-traded company has not prevented the U.S. government from making use of the company's technologies and services.

SpaceX will not go public until it achieves regular flights to Mars.

Musk has suggested SpaceX will remain private, as the company's long-term goals conflict with the short-term demands of public markets and stockholders. Shotwell said SpaceX could not go public until the company was flying regularly to Mars. SpaceX hopes to send its first cargo mission to Mars in 2022, followed by a crewed mission in 2024.

The argument remains—opening SpaceX to the public could change its fundamental mission to Mars into a mission for profits. Musk is not likely to tap the public markets soon for an IPO unless funding from the U.S. government or institutional investors such as Google unexpectedly drops.

The Bottom Line

SpaceX remains a young space company, one that is not immune from financial pressures. In January 2019, it cut 10% of its workforce, bringing total headcount to 6,400 employees. Nevertheless, if the company reaches its ultimate goal of an historic crewed mission to Mars, Musk will have crafted yet another amazing success story. In the meantime, the company is more concerned with attaining more government contracts and successful launches.


You Can't Buy SpaceX Stock Right Now, but Here's How You Can Invest in Space Today

SpaceX made history over the weekend when it launched two U.S. astronauts into space, the first crewed space launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade. It was a remarkable accomplishment, and one that should usher in a new era of space cooperation between private companies and NASA.

It also was largely a nonevent for investors, as SpaceX is a private company and founder Elon Musk has expressed an interest in keeping it that way. SpaceX has big dreams, including colonizing Mars, and those sorts of ambitions, and research expenses, don't usually sync well with Wall Street's quarter-to-quarter tracking.

But even if SpaceX isn't publicly traded, there are some options for investors who want to buy into the new space race. Here's a look at some of the options available to those who are interested.

Space pure plays

There aren't a lot of large public companies focused solely on space; I'll get into why that is, and what it might suggest for investors later on. But there are a few options. Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), Richard Branson's space tourism venture, went public last year and has been the primary publicly traded beneficiary of SpaceX's recent success.

A rocket blasting off into space

Image source: Getty Images.

Virgin Galactic has yet to launch a human into space, and the company is very much in its development phase. Virgin Galactic generated just $238,000 in revenue in the first quarter, but it can boast a reservation list of more than 1,000 people who have signed up to eventually pay $250,000 to briefly go into space.

The company hopes to begin service this year and believes that with repetition it can bring down the cost of its launches and become profitable. It had better, because even if the entire reservation list is converted into full-paying customers, the money raised wouldn't go much further than covering the $200 million Virgin Galactic burned through in 2019.

Another option is Maxar Technologies(NYSE:MAXR), which is focused on satellites, digital imagery, and analytics tools. The company is a rollup of a number of small satellite providers perhaps best known as the source of many of the satellite images used by Alphabet's Google Maps product, but it gets most of its revenue from government and commercial customers.

Finally, Aerojet Rocketdyne(NYSE:AJRD) is focused on providing the rocket engines needed to get astronauts and satellites into orbit and beyond.

Diversified options

All of the space pure plays tend to be smaller, niche companies. There is a reason for that. Space by its nature is risky, and expensive. SpaceX has experienced a number of high-profile mishaps on its way to getting an astronaut into orbit. Testing and failure are parts of the development process, and that can be hard for smaller companies to manage and finance.

A significant portion of the revenue related to space is soaked up by larger, more diversified defense contractors. Most defense titans have space units, with Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin(NYSE:LMT) in a joint venture called United Launch Alliance (ULA) focused on lift and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) making rockets via its Orbital ATK acquisition. Those companies, as well as others, including Raytheon Technologies(NYSE:RTX) and L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX), also make satellites and sensors that are launched into orbit.

Artist rendering of Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft in deep space

Image source: Lockheed Martin.

Although SpaceX is best known for its crewed efforts, the company so far has made its most significant impact in the launch business. Because it is private, we don't know the exact numbers, but SpaceX has succeeded in bringing down launch costs for government and commercial operators and has put pressure on incumbents including ULA and Northrop.

The real money in space comes from the manufacture of satellites, probes, and other objects designed to fly through space, and specifically the high-tech sensors and electronics on those objects, and not the rockets that get them there. That's a tough business to break into, especially since many of the launches are shrouded intelligence efforts that require employees with clearances, and at least for now are left largely to defense companies with strong ties to the Pentagon.

More options on the horizon

SpaceX appears to have no interest in going public, but management has in the past discussed eventually spinning off its planned Starlink internet service provider as a publicly traded entity. Starlink in the coming years plans to launch 12,000 small, low-orbiting satellites that can beam internet service to areas that are hard to reach by terrestrial offerings.

They aren't the first to try the plan: Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) and EchoStar's (NASDAQ:SATS) Hughes Network Systems currently offer satellite internet with various levels of success. Starlink is one of a number of next-generation companies that want to use an armada of small, inexpensive satellites instead of a couple of larger, more complex ones to provide service.

SpaceX in the past has predicted Starlink could generate upward of $30 billion in annual sales by 2025, though that appears to just be based on assuming all 12,000 satellites are utilized at maximum capacity. It could be a challenge to get to those sales numbers. The business will have to compete against incumbent satellite vendors, similar efforts funded by and others, traditional Earth-based providers, and new technologies including 5G wireless networking technology that could solve the same problems without the costs and complexity of going into space.

In the meantime, the Starlink launches are providing a steady stream of business for SpaceX and helping advance the company's goal of establishing a space-based communications network that could be used in future efforts to get to the moon and beyond. But as a stand-alone business, Starlink still has a lot to prove.

A word of caution

As mentioned above, space is hard. It is also exciting, and over time, as these technologies develop, could be lucrative. Bankers at Morgan Stanley in 2017 predicted the space industry could grow to as much as $1.75 trillion in annual revenue by 2040.

Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner likes to say, "make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future," and it's easy to fit a world with space tourism, improved communications, and even moon colonies into that vision. Unfortunately, the complex engineering challenges needed to be tackled every day to launch people, and objects, into space inevitably lead to high costs and some business failures.

As an investor, it's OK to devote a small percentage of your portfolio to some of these pure-play space companies and hope for the best. But, as always, diversification is key. Given the risks associated with these businesses, it's dangerous to make space a key part of your retirement portfolio.

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How to Invest in SpaceX Stock? There's Just 1 Way

SpaceX is not public, and may never IPO -- but you can still own a piece of it.

Rich Smith
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 at 7:25PM
Published: Aug 19, 2017 at 1:07PM
Author Bio
I like things that go "boom." Sonic or otherwise, that means I tend to gravitate towards defense and aerospace stocks. But to tell the truth, over the course of a dozen years writing for The Motley Fool, I have covered -- and continue to cover -- everything from retailers to consumer goods stocks, and from tech to banks to insurers as well. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace news, and other great stories besides.
Follow @RichSmithFool

This article was updated on Feb. 6, 2018, and originally published on Aug. 19, 2017.

Everyone wants a piece of SpaceX. But how can you invest in SpaceX stock?

In 2016, "competitive intelligence tools" subsidiary Alexa (yes, Alexa has a side job) reported that SpaceX's website had just become one of the most popular corporate websites among privately held companies. As measured by "unique visitors," more people were looking into SpaceX than any other "unicorn" stock on the planet.

Don't expect that to change anytime soon. After becoming the first private company to put a spaceship in orbit, Elon Musk's groundbreaking space venture has proceeded to rack up an impressive list of other "first" achievements: First company to launch a payload into orbit, then land its rocket back on Earth. First to land a Falcon 9 rocket on a landing pad at sea. First to re-launch a used rocket, and first to put forth a workable plan for colonizing Mars. If all goes well, SpaceX could even become the first company to reland three boosters from its Falcon Heavy rocket -- simultaneously.

First, first, first.

Calculating the odds of a SpaceX IPO

But will SpaceX also become the first space company to conduct a big IPO in the 21st century and give investors a chance to invest in its stock directly? Musk still seems reluctant. Speaking at a space conference in Guadalajara in 2016, he dismissed any interest in reaping billions by putting SpaceX on the stock market. To the contrary, the internet millionaire-turned-electric cars-billionaire said that it was actually his biggest fear that SpaceX might "somehow get taken over by investors who just want to maximize the profit of the company and not go to Mars."

That statement threw cold water on investors hoping to one day invest in SpaceX stock. And yet would you believe that it's possible to invest in SpaceX today -- before the company even IPOs?

Falcon 9 rocket on launch pad.

Investors see blue skies for SpaceX -- but how can you invest in SpaceX stock? Image source: SpaceX.

It's true. Thanks to Google's 2015 investment in SpaceX, Google parent Alphabet(NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) now owns a 7.5% stake in SpaceX. As a result, it is now possible to invest in SpaceX -- by investing in its part-owner, Alphabet. (As a bonus, you also own a whole lot of Google, YouTube, the Android operating system, and a nascent self-driving car project besides.)

A better way to invest in SpaceX stock -- and also the only way

At the right price, buying Alphabet stock in order to own SpaceX stock might even be a smart financial move. Consider: In 2016, we learned that after several years of boasting that it was both "profitable and cash-flow positive," SpaceX was actually neither of those things. Not profitable, and not generating cash -- but rather burning it.

That hardly sounds like the kind of stock investors should be thinking of trading.

SpaceX's resurgence in 2017 may have improved the company's financial fortunes, or it may not have. So far, SpaceX isn't telling. But just in case SpaceX is still losing money, it seems to me that diversifying one's investment in SpaceX by also owning wildly profitable Alphabet stock is a smarter way to own a piece of SpaceX.

Valued at $735.8 billion today, Alphabet reported net income of $12.7 billion over the past 12 months, despite taking a big hit from tax reform. Google's actual cash profits -- its free cash flow -- are even stronger. According to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, over the past year Alphabet has generated $23.9 billion in positive free cash flow, which is nearly twice its reported profit. And as cash has piled up on its balance sheet, the enterprise value of Alphabet stock has shrunk to the point where the whole company, net of cash, now costs less than $638 billion, or about 26.7 times trailing free cash flow. 

Admittedly, even 26.7 times FCF isn't a particularly cheap way to invest in SpaceX stock. But neither is it unreasonably expensive. Most important, for the time being, it's the only way you can practicably invest in SpaceX.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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What is SpaceX stock?

SpaceX is not a publicly traded company. That means you cannot buy SpaceX stock in the public market. Unless you are extremely wealthy or have a large stake in a company that has a stake in SpaceX, it’s unlikely you will ever be able to own anything resembling SpaceX shares.

SpaceX still does of course have stakeholders. Founder Elon Musk, who also founded famed electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, funded the company initially with funds from his sale of popular online payments platform PayPal. Other equity firms, like Founders Fund and Valor Equity Partners, also have significant stake in SpaceX.

How to buy SpaceX stock

As mentioned, the only people buying SpaceX stock aren’t individuals — they’re large corporations and equity firms. For instance, Google and Fidelity together invested around a billion dollars in 2015 for a 10% stake in the company.

SpaceX stock price

SpaceX is not a publicly traded company; therefore, publicly traded SpaceX stock (which doesn’t exist) has no price.

If SpaceX did have publicly traded stock, it would cumulatively be worth around $36 billion — that’s how much the company was worth as of its last investment round, making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world.

SpaceX stock symbol

SpaceX is not a publicly traded company; therefore, publicly traded SpaceX stock (which doesn’t exist) has no stock ticker symbol. If it did have one, SPCX would probably be a good fit.

SpaceX stock graph and price history

Since SpaceX is not a publicly traded company, as mentioned, there is no publicly available stock graph or price history of note.

When will SpaceX go public?

It’s not known when SpaceX will go public, if ever. Elon Musk and SpaceX have reiterated on many occasions that the short-term demands of shareholders would be a conflict of interest with the company’s long-term ambitions. A company related to SpaceX, Starlink, which offers satellite internet service, may go public at some point, however.


Stock symbol spacex

A rocket soaring up

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX as it is commonly known, has rocketed to public prominence and a market capitalization of some $74 billion even as its actual ownership remains very much out of sight. Investor interest is keen. Only a select few entities have been able to acquire direct ownership stakes in the Elon Musk-founded company. Despite that, there are ways to acquire an indirect ownership interest, at least until there’s an initial public offering. Here are several options for investors interested in owning a slice of SpaceX.

A financial advisor can help you find indirect ways to invest in various private but profitable ventures.

Invest in Baillie Gifford Trusts

There are two Baille Gifford trusts that afford investors the opportunity to indirectly hold stakes in SpaceX. Founded and based out of Edinburg, Scotland, investment management firm Baillie Gifford holds shares in SpaceX and makes its Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and its US Growth Trust available for indirect investments in its SpaceX holdings. The shares trade on the London Stock Exchange.

The first of these investment trusts, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, has a 0.8% exposure in SpaceX as part of its ticker symbol SMT. The second option from Baillie Gifford comes in the form of the Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust investment trust. The US Growth Trust investment portfolio is largely comprised of stock options for companies entrenched in technology and innovation such as Tesla and Shopify, and it includes a 1.6% exposure to SpaceX as part of its ticker symbol USA.

Purchase Google Stock

Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX rockets launch

Another possible indirect route for SpaceX investment exposure is purchasing stock in Google. Google put $900 million in investments toward SpaceX in 2015 in a joint venture with Boston-based financial services provider and fund company Fidelity. There is no evidence that either Fidelity or Google has sold its stake in SpaceX. Fidelity also participated in a 2020 investment round for SpaceX.

So, how does Google’s purchase of SpaceX shares affect would-be SpaceX investors? The answer is actually pretty simple. Investors who currently retain Google stock as part of their portfolio may already indirectly be investing in SpaceX and its capital growth. Bear in mind, though, that Google’s share of SpaceX’s total value is obviously less than it was nearly six years ago and the giant search engine’s owner, Alphabet, may sell that stake, too.

Venture Capital Funds

Venture capital funds also hold (or have held) stakes in SpaceX. These include Founders Fund, Gigafund and Valor Equity Partners.

Investing in venture capital funds can be a challenge for retail investors. Traditionally, venture capital has been the domain of investment banks and private wealth management firms, though there are individual high-net-worth investors who fund VC opportunities. Over the last few years, venture capital has become more accessible to the everyday investor through crowdfunding platforms.

Crowdfunding platforms offer an opportunity to pool your money with other investors to back startups. There are several advantages, both for startups and investors. On the startup side, crowdfunding platforms can make it easier to access venture capital. In a typical VC arrangement, startups have to pitch firms which can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Crowdfunding eliminates that hurdle.

Other Potential Investments

Retail investors interested in getting an indirect stake in SpaceX may want to keep an eye on funds that invest in space exploration, aerospace and the military and which, thus, could become owners of Elon Musk’s company.

  • Direxion Daily Aerospace & Defense Bull 3X Shares is a leveraged fund designed for short-term investing. This fund’s goal is to provide triple the daily return of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index. Its potential for outsized profit is matched by its potential for outsized losses.

  • ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF invests in both domestic and foreign equity securities for the purpose of long-term growth of capital. As of mid-May 2021, it did not hold any shares of SpaceX.

  • iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF targets established defense and aerospace corporations and has a low turnover.

  • SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF focuses on new areas of national security importance, including space and newly created federal agency Space Force. Besides aerospace and the military, the fund holds investments in cybersecurity, drone development and companies that pursue similar extra-terrestrial operations.

  • SPDR S&P Kensho Final Frontiers ETF aims to earn profits by investing in deep sea and space exploration.

  • Procure ETF seeks profits that correspond to those of the S-Network Space Index, which tracks shares of companies in space-related businesses, including those using satellite technology.

The Bottom Line

Midnight rocket launch

There are several ways for investors to gain exposure to SpaceX and start making indirect investments in the space transportation company. Even though these investments are indeed indirect, they are certainly a preferable option to zero investments for those who don’t want to wait around for a SpaceX IPO date that hasn’t even been announced. The cherry on top is that the above-mentioned options give investors excellent exposure to other companies that are part of growing aerospace and space ventures.

Tips on Investing

  • Consider working with a financial advisor as you explore allocating part of your assets into space-related ventures. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s financial advisor match-up tool connects you with local financial advisors who have the credentials to help you improve. So, if you’re ready to change up your routine for the better, get started now.

  • The stock market can be volatile. While it’s important to watch it for patterns, you can take hands-on measures to guard your finances. For example, an asset allocation calculator can help you create and maintain a diversified portfolio that will help buffer your portfolio as the market goes through bullish and bearish phases.

Photo credit: ©, ©, © wright

The post How to Buy SpaceX Stock appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Top 3 SPACE Stocks To BUY NOW - ARKX NEW Space Exploration ETF

The privately-held space technology company SpaceX has become one of the world’s most hotly anticipated initial public offerings (IPOs).

Interest in SpaceX is high because one of the world’s richest men, Elon Musk, owns the company. Forbes listed Musk as the world’s richest man in December 2020 and January 2021. However, Musk’s fortune shrank because Tesla’s stock price fell.

Another Musk company, Tesla Motors Inc. (NYSE: TSLA), had an $822.52 billion Market Capitalization on January 27, 2021. Musk owned 21% of Tesla in January 2021, Forbes estimates.

Forbes estimated Musk’s fortune at $175.8 billion on February 1, 2021. The size of that fortune is hard to estimate because most of it consists of Tesla stock. Forbes reports that Musk has used over half of his Tesla shares as loan collateral.

How To Invest in SpaceX Stock

SpaceX Stock

SpaceX stock is not available on any listed stock exchange because it is a privately held company, the majority stakeholder being Elon Musk. This means as an independent investor, you cannot buy SpaceX stock on the open market, and it is likely to remain that way until at least 2022.

SpaceX Stock Price

SpaceX does not have a publicly listed stock price today, but Reuters estimates SpaceX’s private share price to be between $325-$350 in January 2021. This stock price is derived from SpaceX’s value of $46 billion. However, other analysts gave SpaceX a $60 billion to $92 billion valuation in January 2021, up from $45 billion in August 2020 Reuters claims.

SpaceX Stock Symbol

There is no SpaceX stock symbol because SpaceX is a private company Elon Musk finances with his own money and venture capital. Today, SpaceX has other income sources, including satellite launches, US government contracts, and space research.

Investors are interested in SpaceX because of Musk’s proposed Starlink satellite high-speed internet program. Starlink’s goal is to offer high-speed internet anywhere on Earth using a network of thousands of satellites. The Starlink website claims the internet could be available in 2021.

Musk hopes Starlink will generate enough money to finance his well-publicized scheme to colonize Mars.

Musk’s ultimate goal at SpaceX is to create a colony on Mars.

The purpose of SpaceX’s Starship heavy rocket is to haul people and supplies to Mars. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to use the Starship to transport astronauts and equipment to the Moon.

SpaceX has experience hauling people and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) on its Dragon space capsule. The Dragon has carried astronauts to the ISS on two missions. There are plans to use the Dragon to haul wealthy private individuals into space as well.

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SpaceX and the NASDAQ

The consensus is that SpaceX will list on the NASDAQ because Musk listed Tesla (TSLA) there. Being listed on the Nasdaq has advantages, such as being included in the fasted growing stock market index, the Nasdaq 100, which provides stock price boosts no other index can match.

Tech stock investors are interested in SpaceX because it has built some successful spacecraft. In addition to the Dragon, the Falcon 9 is an innovative reusable two-stage rocket.

SpaceX advertises the Falcon 9 as the world’s first reusable rocket. After launching cargoes to orbit, the Falcon 9 lands in the water where SpaceX can recover it. The hope is that Falcon 9 can reduce launch costs because it reuses the most expensive part of the vehicle – the rocket.

How SpaceX Makes Money

The Falcon 9 has made 105 total launches and 66 landings, SpaceX reports. They have reflown 48 Falcon 9 rockets.

The primary use of the Falcon 9 is the launch of communications satellites, a proven technology. The latest Falcon 9 mission was the Transporter 1 on January 24, 2021, which put 133 commercial and government spacecraft and 10 Starlink satellites in orbit.

SpaceX is the Falcon 9 to commercialize space travel with initiatives such as the Smallsat Rideshare Program. The Smallsat Rideshare Program claims to offer space missions for as low as $1 million.

Musk hopes this program will make money by discounting space travel. Discounters hope to make more money by selling more items at a low price. One goal of discounting efforts such as the Smallsat Rideshare Program is to increase space travel and demand for SpaceX’s rockets.

The Falcon Heavy is a bigger and more powerful version of the Falcon 9 that carries the Dragon space capsules into orbit. The Falcon Heavy is known for launching a Tesla roadster into orbit.

Another way SpaceX makes money through government contracts to launch satellites. The U.S. Space Development Agency, for example, awarded SpaceX a $150.4 million contract to launch 28 satellites for the U.S. Defense Department, Space News reports.

Will there be a SpaceX Ticker?

I think there will be no SpaceX stock ticker anytime soon because Musk wants to keep the company private. I suspect Musk will keep SpaceX private because he does not want anybody interfering with his plans to go to Mars. Musk views the Mars colony as his life’s work and his gift to humanity. My view is that Musk will not let anybody stand in the way of his life’s work.

If Musk were to take SpaceX public, he could lose control of the company and have to report to a board or stockholders. Similarly, Musk will have to follow more regulations if SpaceX goes public.

SpaceX could be incapable of spending many billions of dollars building the Starship or a Mars spaceship if it were public.  In my opinion, the only way SpaceX can be free to launch a Mars mission is to remain private.

SpaceX IPO

Instead of taking SpaceX private, I predict Musk will spin Starlink off and hold an IPO for it.  I think Musk will use the money he makes from Starlink stock to finance SpaceX and his Mars colony. There will be a Starlink ticker on the NASDAQ long before there is a SpaceX ticker. Musk will take Starlink public before SpaceX because Starlink could generate enormous amounts of money by selling internet service.

Starlink could make money because there could be a huge demand for internet services in developing countries. Statista estimates only 44.4% of the people in developing countries and 19.5% in the least developed countries have internet access.

There could also a demand for Starlink’s services in developed countries such as the United States. The Pew Research Center estimates that 27% of American households do not have a broadband internet connection. Similarly, 63% of rural households in the United States have no broadband access, Pew estimates.

The Starlink business plan is to sell internet service to anybody in the world, including developing countries. Demand for Starlink could be high because Statista estimated 4.66 billion active internet users in October 2020. Statista also estimates that 59% of the world’s population uses the internet.

Starlink could be Musk’s most lucrative public offering because it will sell a product 59% of the population uses – the internet. By increasing internet access, Starlink could become the next super stock from Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, nobody knows when they could take could Starlink public.

Investing in SpaceX: Alternative Options

There is no SpaceX stock, but there are some publicly-traded space technologies companies you can buy now. Some alternatives to SpaceX include:

1. Maxar Technolognies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR)

Satellite maker Maxar (MAXR) is an excellent SpaceX alternative because it is cheap and has a proven business. Maxar manufactures products for which there is a proven demand: communications and surveillance satellites. Importantly, Maxar does not take the risk of building rockets or launching satellites.

Other companies, including SpaceX, launch Maxar’s satellites into orbit. Thus Maxar keeps things simple by building one product. Plus, Maxar is an established that has been in business since 1969.

There were over 90 communications satellites built by Maxar in orbit in January 2021, Maxar claims. Maxar claims over 300,000 US government users use its satellites each day.

Maxar is cheap; Mr. Market paid $41.92 for its shares on January 29, 2021. Maxar Makes money; it reported a quarterly gross profit of $106 million and a quarterly operating income of $7 million on September 30, 2020.

The company reported quarterly revenues of $436 million on September 30, 2020. Maxar had some value in the form of $4.565 billion in assets on September 30, 2020.

Maxar even paid a 1¢ dividend on December 31, 2020. I think Maxar is a value investment in space technology because of the dividend.

2. Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC)

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman (NOC) manufactures many satellites, rockets, and spacecraft as SpaceX does. Northrop Grumman’s products include the Milstar Communications satellite network that serves the United States military. Northrop Grumman spacecraft include the Cygnus Space Freighter that hauls cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Plus, Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 is the first spacecraft that services and repairs satellites in orbit.

Northrop Grumman makes money; it reported a quarterly operating income of $985 million and a quarterly gross profit of $1.84 billion on September 30, 2020. Additionally, Northrop Grumman reported $9.083 billion in quarterly revenues on September 30, 2020.

I think Mr. Market overpriced Northrop Grumman at $286.83 on January 29, 2021. I consider Northrop Grumman overpriced because it had total assets of $44.772 billion on September 30, 2020. Northrop Grumman also had $4.995 billion in cash and short-term investments on September 30, 2020.

However, Northrop Grumman is an excellent dividend stock. It paid a $1.45 quarterly dividend on November 18, 2020. In 2020, the dividend grew from $1.32 on March 11, 2020.

Overall, Northrop Grumman offered investors an annual dividend of $5.67 and a 1.94% dividend yield on January 29, 2021. If you are seeking a dividend stock in space technology, Northrop Grumman is a good choice.

There are some serious moral problems with Northrop Grumman because the company manufactures many weapons for the military. Weapons Northrop Grumman manufactures include drones, warplanes, missiles, artillery, machine guns, robots, torpedoes, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

One reason some people admire SpaceX and Maxar is those companies do not manufacture weapons. The primary business at Northrop Grumman is military contracts.

3. Boeing (NYSE: BA)

Aerospace giant Boeing (BA) is SpaceX’s primary competitor in spaceflight.  Boeing also builds a space capsule, the CST-100 Starliner. Unlike SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the Starliner has not yet carried people into space. NASA has chosen the Starliner for its missions to the International Space Station. The Starliner is undergoing tests now.

Boeing is also building a 21st Century Spacesuit for its astronauts. Boeing will haul both its employees and NASA astronauts into space.

Boeing is part of the United Launch Alliance, or ULA, a joint venture with Lockheed Martin (LMT). The ULA builds and launches rockets for NASA and commercial customers. The ULA has put over 100 satellites in orbit.

The Boeing Company has suffered major losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic and problems with its Dreamliner airliner. Boeing reported a negative quarterly gross profit of -$5.678 billion on December 31, 2021, for example.

The company also reported a quarterly operating loss of -$8.049 billion on December 31, 2021. Boeing has experienced five straight quarters of negative revenue growth.

Boeing’s revenue growth shrank by 26.22% in the quarter ending on March 31, 2020, and -14.56% in the quarter ending on December 31, 2020. In 2020, Boeing’s quarterly revenues shrank from $17.911 billion on December 31, 2019, to $15.304 billion on December 31, 2020.

There is evidence Boeing is burning cash to stay in business. The company reported a negative quarterly operating cash flow of -$4.009 billion and an ending quarterly cash flow of -$2.81 billion on December 31, 2020.

Similarly, Boeing has had to borrow enormous amounts of money to survive. Boeing reported a quarterly financing cash flow of $22.462 billion on June 30, 2020, and a $10.28 quarterly financing cash flow of $10.28 billion on March 31, 2020.

Boeing finished 2020 with a quarterly financing cash flow of $2.681 billion on December 31, 2020. In 2020, Boeing’s long-term debt grew from $19.962 billion on December 31, 2019, to $61.89 billion on December 31, 2020.

Boeing still has enormous value in the form of $25.590 billion in cash and short-term investments, and Total Assets of $152.136 billion on December 31, 2020. I think Boeing will survive, but it will have trouble paying off that debt.

I think Mr. Market overvalued Boeing at $194.19 on January 29, 2021. In 2020, Boeing lost $100 in share value. Mr. Market paid $323.30 for Boeing shares on January 30, 2020. Investors need to avoid Boeing because it is burning cash and taking on enormous amounts of debt.

Some of Boeing’s signature products, including the 787 Dreamliner and the Starliner, are suffering technological problems. Space News reports investigators found numerous problems with the Starliner’s software and Boeing’s software development process.

4. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)

Boeing’s United Launch Alliance partner Lockheed Martin (LMT), could be a better investment.

Unlike Boeing, Lockheed Martin is making money, and its business is growing. It reported a quarterly gross profit of $2.214 billion and a quarterly operating income of $2.289 billion on December 31, 2020.

In 2020, Lockheed Martin experienced four straight quarters of revenue growth. Stockrow ropers that Lockheed Martin’s revenues grew by 7.27% in the quarter ending on December 31, 2020.

Lockheed Martin began 2020 with quarterly revenues of $15.878 billion on December 31, 2019. Those quarterly revenues grew to $17.032 billion on December 31, 2020.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will join Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin in the national team to develop NASA’s next lunar lander. The three companies will develop the Artemis lander for NASA’s Human Landing Services competition, Space News reports. NASA will use the lander in the Artemis program of lunar exploration.

NASA will pick one of three companies to build America’s next lunar lander in February 2021. The competitors include SpaceX, the Blue Origin team, and Dynetics, IEE Spectrum reports.

Lockheed Martin had value in the form of $50.71 billion in total assets on December 31, 2020. In 2020, the total assets’ value grew from $47.528 billion on December 31, 2019. Lockheed Martin also had $3.16 billion in cash and short-term investments and $11.669 billion in long-term debt on December 31, 2020.

I think Mr. Market overvalued Lockheed Martin at $321.82 on January 29, 2021. Over the past year, Lockheed Martin’s share price fell from $435.90 on January 30, 2020.

If you want a space technology company, Lockheed Martin is a better choice than Boeing. Lockheed will pay a $2.60 quarterly dividend on March 26, 2021. In total, Lockheed offered investors a forward annualized dividend of $10.40 and a forward dividend yield of 3.17% on January 29, 2021.

Many investors will have moral objections to Lockheed Martin because it builds many weapons, including warplanes, helicopter gunships, missiles, electronic warfare devices, and naval artillery.

Should you Invest in Space Technology?

It is an exciting time for space technology. Visionary entrepreneurs, including Musk and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos, are developing new companies and capabilities. The first private space capsule has reached the International Space Station, and there are plans for more. NASA has plans to return to the Moon and explore Mars.

Musk famously has plans for a Mars colony that will include a city, reports. Bezos wants a future in which millions of people will live and work in space. Bezos’ plans include giant orbiting space colonies that thousands of people will call home and factories in space.

Space technology is exciting and glamorous and possibly vital to humanity’s future. However, in today’s world, space technology is a speculative investment.

Only people can afford to lose money, and those who can stomach investment in weapons makers should consider investing in space technology. Ordinary investors need to avoid investing in companies as SpaceX until somebody proves they can make money in space.

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