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Intuitive Machines Inc(LUNR-Q)
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Why Intuitive Machines Stock Is Going to the Moon Today

Motley Fool - Tue Feb 20, 10:18AM CST

Shares of Intuitive Machines (NASDAQ: LUNR), a former space special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that has traded below its initial public offering (IPO) price for most of its public lifetime, shot to the moon this morning -- literally.

Shares of the tiny space stock are up an astounding 60.6% through 10:30 a.m. ET on the first trading day after the holiday weekend, buoyed by positive reports on the progress of its Nova-C class lunar lander. It's aiming to accomplish America's first soft landing on the moon in more than 50 years -- and the first-ever successful moon landing by a private company.

To the moon, Alice!

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lander blasted off to space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket just after midnight Thursday. It proceeded to fine-tune its course to the moon, begin charging its batteries, and establish communications with the company's mission control center in Houston. At last report, the 14-foot-tall spacecraft was on course for a lunar landing on or about 5:39 p.m. ET this coming Thursday, Feb. 22.

It's not quite as cool as an Apollo-era manned moon landing -- but it's a start. And for investors today, it seems more than enough to ignite a rally in Intuitive Machines stock.

Is Intuitive Machines stock a buy?

NASA is paying the company $118 million for this mission. Intuitive Machines is also carrying some payloads for commercial customers, which should add a bit of extra revenue for the landing attempt. These payments were enough to turn Intuitive Machines stock profitable last year after losing money in 2022.

But one mission doesn't a good stock make. Don't get me wrong. If Intuitive Machines sticks its landing on Thursday, the company will immediately vault into pole position among a whole host of small space start-ups trying to win both headlines and space contracts from NASA and others who might want to put payloads on the moon.

That doesn't change the fact that analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence see Intuitive Machines plunging right back into the red this year and continuing to lose money for years as it prepares for future missions. This stock may be a moonshot -- and I wish them luck with that -- but it's also a pretty speculative bet.

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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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