Why Planet Labs Stock Went to the Moon Today

·2 min read
Why Planet Labs Stock Went to the Moon Today

Shares of Planet Labs (NYSE: PL), the tiny space company that's built the world's largest constellation of Earth observation satellites, rocketed to the moon Wednesday morning, shooting 14.2% higher (as of 11:55 a.m. ET) after announcing that it has landed a contract with America's National Reconnaissance Office -- the NRO, the nation's spy satellite factory. The NRO awarded Planet's subsidiary Planet Labs Federal a potential 10-year electro-optical commercial layer (EOCL) contract to supply unclassified medium-resolution and high-resolution commercial satellite imagery to the government. While Planet didn't emphasize this point in its press release, NRO actually awarded EOCL contracts to two other satellite imaging companies as well -- fellow start-up BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY), which operates a 14-satellite constellation, and shares of which have literally doubled on the news (to about $2.24 a share); and more established Earth imaging specialist Maxar Technologies (NYSE: MAXR), shares of which are up 16.1%.

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