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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Latest Space Venture Achieves Astonishing Profitability

Elon Musk’s new space business, particularly the Starlink satellite internet service, has been a subject of debate regarding its profitability. Despite Bloomberg’s skepticism, several sources suggest that Starlink is indeed profitable or on the path to significant profitability.

Bloomberg’s Skepticism

Bloomberg has raised concerns about the profitability of Starlink, particularly focusing on the costs associated with manufacturing and distributing ground terminals. According to Bloomberg, SpaceX is losing hundreds of dollars on each terminal sold, which could amount to substantial losses given the millions of terminals shipped.

Profitability Claims

Elon Musk and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell have both asserted that Starlink is generating cash and moving toward profitability. Musk announced that Starlink had achieved breakeven cash flow, and Shotwell confirmed that SpaceX as a whole began generating cash as early as 2022, with positive profits reported at least once in 2023.

Revenue and Profit Margins

Starlink is projected to generate $6.8 billion in revenue in 2024, up from $4.2 billion in 2023. The company aims for operating profit margins of 60%, which would translate to $4.1 billion in operating profit. Even after accounting for hardware losses, Starlink is expected to earn a profit of $3.8 billion. This is supported by the razor-and-blades business model, where initial losses on hardware are offset by long-term subscription revenues.

Free Cash Flow and Market Position

Quilty Analytics projects that Starlink will generate approximately $600 million in positive free cash flow in 2024. This is a significant improvement from zero revenue just four years ago. Compared to traditional ISPs like Verizon and Comcast, which have lower profit margins, Starlink’s financials appear promising, especially given its rapid growth and the competitive advantage of space-based internet services.

Conclusion

While Bloomberg’s concerns highlight the challenges in assessing Starlink’s profitability, the overall financial outlook for Starlink appears robust. The projected revenues, profit margins, and free cash flow suggest that Starlink is not only profitable but also poised for substantial growth. Investors are optimistic about the upcoming Starlink IPO, which could provide more definitive financial disclosures.In summary, despite some skepticism, the available data supports the claim that Elon Musk’s Starlink business is indeed mind-blowingly profitable.

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