The once government-dominated space sector has become increasingly commercialized in recent years, with a myriad of investment opportunities emerging in the process. Hence, wagering on buying the best space stocks to buy presents an exhilarating prospect for the adventurous investor. From established defense plays to up-and-coming startups, the diverse range of players in the space industry offers tremendous long-term opportunities for investors.
Morgan Stanley predicts the global space sector could skyrocket to a staggering $1 trillion value by 2040. On top of that, there is substantial pent-up demand for space travel already, as Cowen analysts reported that 39% of individuals with a $5 million net worth have expressed interest in shelling out a minimum of $250,000 for an outer-space experience.
That said, we’ll take you on a thrilling journey through three space stocks holding massive promise for aggressive investors.
Space Stocks to Buy: Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Investing in a secondary play might be a more apt approach when wagering on a risky sector such as space. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is arguably one of the best secondary plays in the space sector, with a strong presence in the aerospace and defense segments. The defense contractor boasts a stable business, which has handsomely rewarded shareholders through regular dividend payouts and share price appreciation.
The firm’s space segment, which includes space transportation, defense systems, and satellites, has played a key role in NASA’s Lucy mission to Jupiter and the 2024 Orion mission to the moon. Additionally, it partnered with space services provider NanoRacks to develop Starlab, the first-ever free-flying commercial space station. With Starlab expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2027, Lockheed Martin is well-positioned to capitalize on the burgeoning space industry.
2022 was a relatively tough year for the business as it faced multiple supply chain issues negatively impacting its top and bottom-line performances. However, In 2024, Lockheed Martin could potentially return to mid-single-digit growth.
Nevertheless, its dividend profile remains as strong as ever, with 20 consecutive years of growth and a 2.5% forward yield.
ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX)
One of the best ways to board the cosmic journey of investing in the space sector and minimize risk is to invest in an exchange-traded fund (ETF). ARK Invest’s ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (BATS:ARKX) provides diversified exposure to the leading names involved in space, aerodynamics, artificial intelligence, and other transformative technologies.
Investing in the ARKX ETF allows investors to tap into the thriving space industry, benefiting from cutting-edge research and strategic decisions made by the ARK Invest team. Helmed by ARK Investment Management and backed by the renowned Cathie Wood’s expertise, the fund effectively capitalizes on her visionary approach towards investing in high potential disruptive stocks. Wood’s bold predictions and investment strategies have made her one of the most prolific growth stock pickers in recent history.
Virgin Galactic (SPCE)
The leading space tourism play Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), has given its investors multiple false starts over the past few years. Once a red-hot stock, SPCE’s price shot to the moon following its management’s lofty claims and targets, which they failed to achieve. Consequently, amidst several delays and other setbacks, its stock is down over 90% from its highs achieved in February 2021.
However, this year SPCE stock has been ticking upward following an announcement that upgrades to its VMS Eve mothership were complete in anticipation of commercial testing to begin in the second quarter. Commercial testing is expected to remain on track beginning in the second half of 2023.
Though there’s a lot to dislike about SPCE stock, the long-term opportunity in space tourism cannot be denied. According to Vantage Market Research, the space tourism market could grow at a CAGR of 36.4% between 2021 to 2028. Moreover, the company still has over $900 million in the bank to continue investing in its business.
On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.