WASHINGTON — Lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines announced Aug. 31 it raised $20 million through a sale of stock as the company gears up for its first mission.
The Houston-based company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it sold approximately 4.7 million shares to an unnamed institutional investor at $4.25 per share. The company said it would use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes and working capital needs.”
In a statement, Steve Altemus, chief executive of Intuitive Machines, said the funding would help the company as it develops a series of lunar lander missions and begins work on a NASA contract, in partnership with KBR, to provide engineering services at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Work on that contract, which has a not-to-exceed value of $719 million over five years, is set to start in the fourth quarter.
“This equity investment will help ensure a smooth transition and provide the working capital needed to execute for our customer on day 1,” Altemus said.
In an Aug. 14 earnings call, Erik Sallee, chief financial officer of Intuitive Machines, argued that the company’s cash on hand — $39.1 million as of the end of the second quarter — along with revenue from the NASA contract and lunar lander projects would be sufficient, even as the company recorded an operating loss of $13.2 million in the quarter.
“The cash on our balance sheet, plus the milestones we have on the books, should take us through,” he said. Intuitive Machines, he added, had a $50 million equity financing facility “which we can use opportunistically to provide further cushion, if needed.”
The company said in the announcement of the $20 million stock sale that it no longer expected to use that equity financing facility. “We continue to be disciplined and opportunistic with capital,” Sallee said in the statement. “Given the timing of milestone-based payments, we elected to strengthen our balance sheet defensively, as we grow and execute on new programs.”
In that earnings call, Intuitive Machines said it was withdrawing earlier guidance it provided on revenues and cash balance. Sallee blamed that on “delays on government acquisition timelines and U.S. federal budget uncertainty” and not the loss of any particular contract.
Intuitive Machines is moving ahead with its first lander mission, IM-1, scheduled to launch as soon as Nov. 15 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 at the start of a six-day launch window. Two additional missions, IM-2 and IM-3, are scheduled to launch in 202.4 All three are carrying payloads for NASA through its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Shares in the company closed at $4.76, down 8.3%, in trading on Nasdaq Aug. 31.