Thu. 26 May 2022, 4:12pm ET Benzinga News, Penny Stocks, Contracts, Small Cap, Trading Ideas, General

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is the United States agency that manages the designing, building, and maintaining of the country's intelligence satellites.

What happened: On Wednesday, the NRO awarded billions in multiyear contracts to three satellite imagery companies; Blacksky Technology Inc (NYSE:BKSY), Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR), and Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL).

The NRO called the awarded contracts the “largest-ever commercial imagery contracting effort.”

According to a press release, the effort, better known as The Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) contract, is effective as of May 22 and includes a five-year base contract with five additional years of options through 2032.

EOCL is the U.S. government’s industry-defining procurement vehicle for unclassified commercial satellite imagery.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission say Maxar's 10-year contract is valued at $3.24 billion. It comprises a fixed five-year base contract commitment of $1.5 billion, with each of the first five years comprising just over $300 million.

Maxar’s stock jumped 18.9% on Wednesday.

According to SEC filings, BlackSky's decade-long contract is valued at $1.021 billion. The initial value of the five-year base is $85.5 million.

BlackSky’s stock surged 101% on Wednesday.

Planet had not submitted a SEC filing with the contract's financial information. This award covers medium-resolution PlanetScope and high-resolution SkySat imagery, according to Planet. Once operational, it will also include the next-generation Pelican fleet.

Planet Lab’s stock climbed 15.76% on Wednesday.

Other stocks associated with these companies can be viewed as potential plays.

After the success of a pilot program in which BlackSky supplied insights and intelligence to Palantir customers within minutes of collecting, without any human involvement, Palantir Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:PLTR) formed a multiyear strategic relationship with BlackSky in 2021.

Rocket Lab USA Inc (NASDAQ:RKLB) is a full-service space firm that helps businesses launch satellites and other spacecraft to orbit.

Rocket Lab recently used its launch vehicle to send two BlackSky microsatellites to orbit in April.