Rocket Lab delays first U.S. launch, cuts revenue forecast

By Akash Sriram in Bengaluru

(Reuters) – Rocket Lab USA Inc cut its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter on Monday after it delayed the first launch of its Electron rocket from U.S. soil to January, sending its shares down about 5% in extended trading.

The rocket maker said that due to the delay, revenue for the mission will be recognized in the first quarter.

The company said it delayed its mission from December due to bad weather conditions, adding that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also needed more time to complete regulatory documentation.

The delay in documentation left two days in a 14-day launch window which were unsuitable for “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” mission due to bad weather, the company added.

The mission, the first of three launches for HawkEye 360, will deploy three satellites for the geospatial analytics provider, when it launches in January next year.

Rocket Lab, which has been launching rockets from New Zealand, cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast to between $46 million and $47 million from $51 million to $54 million.