SpaceX earned an estimated $2 billion in 2018 according to US investment bank, Jefferies. The amount saw the California-based launch provider surpass industry stalwarts United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Northrop Grumman (formally Orbital ATK) with the largest market share.
A “deep dive” report sent to Jefferies investors on Sunday and first reported by CNBC estimated the expected revenues for eight “heavy launch” companies for the 2018 financial year. The report estimates that the eight companies generated a combined $8 billion in revenue. SpaceX secured the largest share of the revenue earning an estimated $2 billion.
“While SpaceX is newer to the market, their lower price point has allowed them to outpace peers in estimated annual launch revenues,” wrote Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu.
The other eight competitors examined in the report in order of revenue are ULA, Northrop Grumman, Europe’s Arianespace, Russia’s Khrunichev, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, India’s ISRO, and Blue Origin.
In addition to revealing their current dominance within the market, the report also projected that SpaceX would likely continue to lead the pack through 2020.
“The biggest strength for SpaceX likely lies in its price and track record. Given the current launch cadence, their business case is likely to be strongest given the ability for overhead absorption.”
The company’s dominance will, however, depend on 25 lucrative Air Force contracts expected in 2020. The Air Force has stated that of the 25 launches up for grabs, one company will win 15 and the other 10. Currently, SpaceX is seen as the front-runner for the larger portion with ULA acting as its only competitors.