Why Intuitive Machines Stock Popped 12%, Then Dropped, Today

Earlier this week, I suggested three space stocks that have gotten cheap enough after their SPAC-frenzy IPOs to be worth buying today. It seems someone on Wall Street was paying attention.

This morning, shares of one of my three space stock picks, lunar lander specialist Intuitive Machines (LUNR -6.78%), surged 12% on a new buy recommendation from investment bank B. Riley. The stock has turned around and resumed falling again, however, and as of 12:20 p.m. ET is now down 4% from Thursday’s close.

What’s up with that?

Riley recommends Intuitive Machines

In its note, Riley recommended buying Intuitive Machines at its current sub-$4 price tag, predicting the stock will more than double over the next 12 months to $8 per share. And why?

First, because Intuitive Machines (mostly) successfully put an American lander on the moon earlier this year, for the first time since the Apollo era. Second, because this success demonstrates Intuitive Machines’ “superior capabilities … relative to other competitors.” And third?

As reported on StreetInsider.com, Riley believes the fact that Intuitive Machines is “led by former NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) deputy director Steve Altemus, former JSC orbit guidance, navigation, and control system manager Dr. Tim Crain, and third founder Dr. Kam Ghaffarian, a serial space entrepreneur” means it possesses “trade secrets” that will give it an advantage over the competition.

Is Intuitive Machines stock a buy?

Bolstering its argument, Riley cites “NASA’s multi-billion-dollar programs like Commercial Lunar Payload Services” as the pot of gold Intuitive Machines aims to win. Its revenues this year could triple 2023 levels, and double again over the next two years, as Intuitive Machines executes on contracts it’s already won.

So yes, Intuitive Machines stock has potential. That’s why it spiked. But it also faces stiff competition from better-funded rivals such as SpaceX and Blue Origin — which is why the spike didn’t stick. Intuitive Machines possesses $55 million in cash but is burning $56 million per year.

Until that changes, Intuitive Machines stock remains a risky bet. Expect more volatility to come.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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