Virgin Galactic Pivots to Lower Orbit Post Earnings

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Shares of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) orbited a little bit closer to earth on Tuesday after the company reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and also filed to issue more stock.

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.

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s publicly traded effort to bring space travel to the masses said it is continuing to advance its test flight program, including conducting two successful glide flights from Spaceport America.

The company also says it has seen continued growth in customer demand, “with increases in paid enrollments for our ‘One Small Step’ program.”

The next phase of its test flight program with its first powered spaceflight from Spaceport America will happen 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.

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