With humanity having exploited much of the readily available resources on Earth, the invariable journey upward incentivizes investors to consider space stocks to buy. Fundamentally, the so-called space economy commands an extremely large total addressable market. According to information cited by the World Economic Forum, this segment reached a valuation of $469 billion in 2021.
Further, experts covering the space industry believe that the sky’s the limit. According to Morgan Stanley, the space economy may command a valuation of over $1 trillion by 2040. Even better, this exciting sector covers a range of relevant applications beyond just sending astronauts into orbit. From consumer broadband networks to government-sponsored communications devices to enhanced internet connectivity, the space economy undergirds countless innovations.
Therefore, even with the broader technology space suffering a beatdown last year, investors should look ahead. With this framework in mind, below are the space stocks to buy now.
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While Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) obviously generates the most attention for its core e-commerce business, it’s also a major player in the burgeoning space economy. Perhaps most notably, Amazon is designing the Kuiper satellite internet constellation. “Project Kuiper is an up-and-coming low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet service provider that’s set to launch 1,500 satellites over the next five years,” according to Satelliteinternet.com.
Unlike other space stocks to buy, Amazon commands the serious advantage of already owning an incredibly viable business enterprise. Should its space economy initiatives not pan out, it can always fall back on its e-commerce and cloud-computing units. That’s probably one of the reasons why Wall Street analysts love AMZN. Currently, they peg shares as a consensus strong buy with an implied 37% upside target.
Also, despite being around the block more than a few times, Amazon remains a growth machine. For instance, its three-year revenue growth rate stands at 25.1%. This stat beats out nearly 87% of the competition, making AMZN one of the space stocks to buy.
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One of the top defense contractors in the business, Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) inherently carries a controversial profile. Obviously, with ongoing geopolitical flashpoints, the controversy only intensifies in magnitude. Still, it’s also one of the more viable space stocks. According to its website, Northrop is pioneering across every sector of space, helping government, civil and commercial customers tackle some of their biggest challenges.
Among the most interesting initiatives centers on its space station concept. Northrop claims on its website that it’s building the foundation for a new space economy in low Earth orbit. On a more contemporary note, Northrop developed its Mission Extension Vehicle, a unique spacecraft that helps extend the lifecycle of satellites.
Better yet, Wall Street analysts believe that Northrop can continue delivering the goods for decades to come. Presently, market experts peg NOC as a consensus moderate buy. Also, their average price target of $527.15 implies an upside potential of 17%. Thus, it’s one of the space stocks to consider.
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A U.S.-based automatic test equipment designer and manufacturer, Teradyne (NASDAQ:TER) partnered with some of the world’s biggest semiconductor and technology firms. The beauty of Teradyne is that no matter what, it will likely command exceptional relevance. However, it also enjoys upside potential as one of the space stocks to buy.
Essentially, Teradyne’s products enable aerospace companies to test their innovations during and after manufacturing. Further, as companies in the broader space economy invest in superior semiconductor capacities, they will need advanced testing solutions. The logical choice, then, would be Teradyne as it owns years of expertise in this field.
Not surprisingly because of the myriad relevancies, Wall Street analysts support TER, rating it a consensus moderate buy. Further, sentiment among hedge funds pings as “very positive,” according to TipRanks. Since the first quarter of 2022, these institutional investors have been building up their exposure to TER, making it one of the intriguing space stocks to consider.
A stalwart in the wireless communications arena, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) specializes in semiconductors, software, and services. Though a typically reliable enterprise, QCOM suffered alongside its tech peers in 2022. It’s still down significantly in the trailing year, shedding nearly 28% of equity value. Still, this relative discount makes it an attractive idea among space stocks to buy.
In Jan., Qualcomm and Iridium Communications (NASDAQ:IRDM) entered into an agreement to bring satellite-based connectivity to next-generation premium Android smartphones, according to the former’s press release. Specifically, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite offers truly global coverage from “pole to pole,” per the PR. As well, the innovation can support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and other messaging applications.
To be fair, investment resource Gurofocus.com warns that Qualcomm could be a possible value trap. Still, given the enormous relevancies, I find this assessment difficult to believe. Moreover, Wall Street analysts have a different view, rating QCOM a consensus moderate buy. Their average price target of $142.90 also implies an upside potential of over 16%.
Another giant in the tech arena, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) at one point unquestionably dominated the consumer-oriented semiconductor space. However, rising competition along with some internal unforced errors took the shine off of Intel. In the trailing year, INTC gave up nearly 44% of its equity value, a stunning erosion. Still, for contrarians seeking space stocks, INTC could be interesting.
In November last year, Intel issued a press release, noting that it recognized the need to anticipate the demands of tomorrow. Further, based on the company’s smart capital strategy, Intel “…will continue to invest in space and initiate equipment investment based on demand, technology, and product readiness milestones.”
It’s not just empty words. At this year’s CES, Intel announced the world’s fastest mobile processor. This breakthrough should have relevant implications for professional users including pro gamers.
To be sure, analysts aren’t exactly in love with INTC, rating it a consensus hold. Still, the company enjoys a decent balance sheet and a profitable enterprise. And priced at a trailing multiple of 9 (below the sector median of 17 times), INTC ranks among the space stocks to buy.
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Stepping away from the established names of space stocks, we’ll take a look at the speculative ideas beginning with Rocket Lab (NASDAQ:RKLB). Marketed as a leader in reusable small launch rockets, along with providing acumen in related endeavors such as building parts and systems for satellites, Rocket Lab could be a scorcher once it finds its footing.
For now, that’s a big “if,” considering that in the trailing year, RKLB fell over 45%. And while other space stocks also suffered such huge losses, some of these underlying companies – like Intel – command other viable businesses. For Rocket Lab, it’s space or bust.
To be clear, Rocket Lab represents an aspirational idea. While the company enjoys a solidly stable balance sheet, it remains a largely unprofitable enterprise. However, the allure of RKLB is that Wall Street analysts love the opportunity. At this moment, market experts rate shares as a consensus strong buy. Even more impressive, the average price target stands at $10.82, implying over 126% upside potential.
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Although the most exciting space stocks tend to focus on the advanced vehicular angle, this subsegment features plenty of entities that crashed and burned. Moving forward, speculators may want to consider enterprises that offer practical solutions and services; that is, companies that promote relevancies for the here and now along with future applications. One compelling candidate is Planet Labs (NYSE:PL).
An Earth-imaging firm, Planet Labs aims to image the entirety of the Earth daily to monitor changes and pinpoint trends. Thus, it commands obvious pertinence for climate change studies. However, it also carries practical implications for the defense industry. For instance, through Planet’s imaging services, the New York Times uncovered how North Korea managed to (illicitly) secure crude oil.
Currently, Wall Street analysts peg PL as a consensus strong buy. As well, their price target of $8.33 implies an upside potential of 69%. It’s not surprising given how Planet recently posted record revenue in the third quarter, making it a worthwhile idea among space stocks to buy.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
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