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.