Shares of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) , billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s publicly traded effort to bring space travel to the masses, fell more than 10% on Tuesday after the company reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and also filed to issue additional shares.
The Mojave, Calif.-based company posted a net loss of $63 million, or 30 cents a share, vs. a loss of $41 million, or 23 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 26 cents a share.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled -$54 million vs. -$42 million in the first quarter of 2020.
Shares of Virgin were down 12.45% at $21.02 in trading on Tuesday.
The company said it continued to advance its test flight program, including conducting two successful glide flights from Spaceport America, and saw continued growth in customer demand, “with increases in paid enrollments for our ‘One Small Step’ program.”
It also said it entered into deposit agreements for orbital spaceflights with 12 customers during the quarter. As of July 30, the company has received more than 700 deposit payments, with the total number of ‘Future Astronauts’ holding at approximately 600.
Virgin Galactic’s long-term plans are to shuttle people into orbit and back. The company said it expects to advance to the next phase of its test flight program with its first powered spaceflight from Spaceport America this fall, with two test pilots in the cockpit.
It then will conduct a second powered space flight from Spaceport America, with a crew of two test pilots in the cockpit and four mission specialists in the cabin. Assuming both flights demonstrate the expected results, Virgin Galactic anticipates Branson himself will fly in the first quarter of 2021.
Separately, Virgin Galactic filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to issue another 20.5 million in shares to raise additional research and development and operational capital.
To much hyperbole and fanfare, Virgin Galactic last week revealed the design of its cabin for tourists on its SpaceShipTwo rocket, as well as the design for space suits and plans on how it will prepare customers for their out-of-world experience.