SAN FRANCISCO – Planet revealed the value of its largest contract to date, a $146 million award from the National Reconnaissance Office to provide visuals over two years, during the company’s June 14 earnings call.
Rather than disclose the maximum potential value of the contract with options over a 10-year period, as BlackSky and Maxar Technologies, the other two companies that won contracts in NRO’s Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL), Planet reported NRO’s initial pledge of $146 million for the first two years of SkySat constellation tasks, daily PlanetScope images and access to Planet’s image archive.
“There’s quite a bit of flexibility in that contract to expand,” said Will Marshall, Planet co-founder and CEO. “They can execute change orders, exercise new options and extend the deal for a total period of up to 10 years.”
However, Marshall declined to disclose the maximum potential value of the contract over a 10-year period.
Even the initial two-year grant nearly doubles Planet’s backlog, which stood at $152 million on April 30. NRO announced the selection of EOCL suppliers on 25 May. Planet did not disclose the value of the contract at the time, citing a quiet period ahead of the quarterly results announcement.
During the June 14 earnings call, Marshall said Planet executives are “very proud” of the EOCL contract.
“The NRO has embraced taking advantage of Planet’s capabilities as they are,” Marshall said. “The fact that they are buying it on such a scale and with such dedication makes us very happy. I am confident that if we develop new capabilities, the government will buy them.”
In total, Planet reported revenue of $40.1 million in the first quarter of 2023, a 26 percent increase compared to the first quarter of Planet’s fiscal 2022. As of April 30, the end of the quarter, Planet had 826 customers, a 23 percent increase from a year earlier.
“We’re seeing growing demand across all verticals,” Marshall said, citing agriculture, defense, intelligence and civil government.
Looking ahead, Marshall expects Planet’s revenues to remain distributed across the government and commercial markets. Not even the EOCL contract will significantly change that split, he said.
About half of Planet’s revenues come from commercial markets and half from government markets. Within the public sector, about half come from civilian agencies and the other half from military and intelligence organizations. While the various market shares “may change a little bit from time to time, we don’t expect that to change materially in the long run,” Marshall said.
Ashley Fieglein Johnson, Planet’s chief financial officer, added that the company has seen strong demand from civilian and military government customers. In addition, she adds that Planet attracts clients in the agricultural, financial and insurance sectors.
“The long-term diversification of the company is only expected to increase,” Johnson said.
Planet announced on June 14 the extension of its contract with Bayer, the multinational life sciences and pharmaceutical company.
“They use both Planet Fusion data and high-resolution SkySat data to understand historical and in-season performance and enable data scientists to generate valuable insights that can support production globally,” Marshall said.
Planet also announced an agreement in April to partner with Moody’s to help the financial services company identify ways to assess and monitor environmental, social and governance risks.
“We believe our data can help improve the quality and consistency of ESG measurements and reporting, ultimately leading to greater accountability and management of natural resources,” Marshall said.