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Virgin Galactic Falls as ARK Dumps $13 Million Worth of Stock

ARK Investment Management sold 590,000 shares of Virgin Galactic held by two of its exchange-traded funds.
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Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings  (SPCE) - Get Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Report fell sharply Tuesday after star money manager Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management sold 590,000 shares of the space company.

ARK sold the shares in two of its exchange-traded funds. ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF  (ARKQ) - Get ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF Report dumped 315,600 shares, worth $7.1 million as of Monday’s close, but still holds 1.76 million shares of Virgin Galactic. ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF  (ARKX) - Get ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF Report unloaded 275,204 shares, worth $6.2 million, and now maintains 315,781 shares.

Analysts have criticized the ARK Space ETF for holding many stocks that are only tangentially related to the space industry. ARK bought 515,000 shares of Virgin Galactic last week.

Virgin recently traded at $20.65, down 8.06%. The stock has plunged 65% since Feb. 11 through Tuesday amid waning enthusiasm for SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies), as well as for speculative technology companies with a lot of red ink. 

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Virgin was founded and is partly owned by renowned U.K. entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Last week, Virgin Galactic announced in an SEC filing that Branson sold about $150 million worth of his stock in the company during the last month.

Branson's sale of 5.6 million shares constitutes about 2.5% of the company, according to Bloomberg, and was part of a plan he and the company created in March. He is left with a 24% stake in Virgin Galactic worth about $1.5 billion.

Venture-capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya, chairman of Virgin Galactic, sold about 40% of his stake in the company last month for about $213 million.

Also in March, Truist analyst Michael Ciarmoli initiated coverage on Virgin Galactic with a buy rating and $50 price target.