WASHINGTON — Faced with dwindling cash and a stock delisting, Astra Space announced plans July 10 to perform a reverse split of its stock and sell up to $65 million of it.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published after the markets closed, Astra said it had signed a sales agreement with Roth Capital Partners under which it will sell up to $65 million of its stock in an “at-the-market” offering, where shares are sold at the going market rate.
Net proceeds from the stock sale, the company said, would go towards working capital and general corporate purposes. That includes development of its next-generation launch vehicle, Rocket 4, as well as continued production of its Astra Spacecraft Engine electric thrusters.
The stock sale comes as the company was running low on cash. Astra reported having $62.7 million in cash as of the end of the first quarter, with a net loss of $44.9 million. The company reported no revenue in the first quarter.
Astra executives said on an earnings call May 15 they projected ending the second quarter with $30 million to $33 million of cash remaining. The company was considering at the time both debt and equity options to raise additional cash to keep the company operating as it continues work on Rocket 4, which the company does not anticipate entering commercial service until some time in 2024.
Astra also faced a potential delisting of its stock from the Nasdaq because its price had fallen below $1 per share. Astra was originally given 180 days by Nasdaq, starting in October 2022, to get its share price above $1 for at least 10 consecutive business days. The company won a 180-day extension on April 10.
Astra said July 10 that its board had approved a plan for a 1-for-15 reverse stock split that will occur no later than Oct. 2. Under that plan, 15 shares of existing Astra stock will be exchanged for one new share of Astra stock. That will have the effect of boosting the share price but not the company’s overall market cap. Shareholders had approved a proposal at the company’s annual shareholder meeting June 8 to allow the board to enact a reverse split of between 1-for-5 and 1-for-15.
Shares in Astra closed July 10 at 40.2 cents per share, which would be $6.03 after the reverse split. Those shares have fallen more than 97% in value from their peak in early July 2021, shortly after Astra completed its merger with Holicity, a special-purpose acquisition company, and started trading publicly on Nasdaq.