Key Points

  • Virgin Galactic's stock rose about 10% on Wednesday after the company's first test flight in over a year took off.
  • The VMS Eve, the company's mothership aircraft, took flight from Mojave, California, marking an important milestone towards its planned customer service launch in Q2.
  • Wells Fargo notes that this flight is an important step towards Virgin Galactic's goal of commercial spaceflight, as the mothership aircraft underwent mechanical upgrades.
  • Virgin Galactic's stock has seen a year-to-date gain of over 66%.
  • This test flight is a positive development for Virgin Galactic, which aims to be a leader in the commercial spaceflight industry.

Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) has been on a wild ride over the past year, with shares up more than 66% year-to-date as the space tourism company continues to make progress towards its goal of taking paying customers to the edge of space.

On Wednesday, the company took a significant step forward as it conducted its first test flight in over a year, sending the stock soaring nearly 10% in afternoon trading.

Virgin Galactic (Twitter)

3...2...1... Ignition!

The flight, which was conducted using Virgin Galactic's VMS Eve mothership, took off from Mojave, California and marked an important milestone in the company's development. According to FlightAware, the flight was a success, and the mothership performed well after undergoing mechanical upgrades. This is an important development for Virgin Galactic, as the company has been working to address several technical issues that have delayed the start of commercial operations.

While the test flight is certainly a positive development for the company, it is important to note that there is still a lot of work to be done before commercial operations can begin. The company has been working to address several technical issues, including problems with the rocket motors used to power its spacecraft. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the company's operations and led to delays in its testing schedule.

Despite these challenges, there are reasons to be optimistic about Virgin Galactic's future prospects. The company is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and has a strong team of engineers and scientists working to address the technical challenges it faces. In addition, the company has a number of high-profile customers, including celebrities and wealthy individuals who have signed up for its space tourism program.

Virgin Galactic (Twitter

The Investors Point of View

Investors have taken notice of Virgin Galactic's progress, driving the stock up more than 66% year-to-date. The company's shares have been volatile in recent months, however, with the stock falling sharply in December following the release of a critical report by a short-seller.

The report, which was published by Hindenburg Research, accused the company of exaggerating its technology and misrepresenting its safety record.

Despite the negative press, some analysts remain bullish on Virgin Galactic's long-term prospects. Wells Fargo, for example, recently raised its price target for the stock, citing the company's progress in addressing technical issues and its strong customer pipeline.

In a recent note to investors, Wells Fargo wrote that he expects Virgin Galactic to begin commercial operations in the second half of 2022, and sees the company as a leader in the emerging space tourism industry.

Of course, there are risks to investing in Virgin Galactic. The company is still in the early stages of its development, and there is no guarantee that it will be able to successfully launch its commercial space tourism operations. Additionally, the stock is highly volatile, and investors should be prepared for significant swings in the stock price.

Tests Flight Results

Wednesday's successful test flight is an important milestone for Virgin Galactic as it continues to work towards launching its commercial space tourism operations. The company faces a number of technical challenges, but it has a strong team of engineers and scientists working to address these issues.

While there are risks to investing in Virgin Galactic, there are also reasons to be optimistic about the company's long-term prospects in the emerging space tourism industry. Investors should approach the stock with caution, but for those with a long-term perspective and a tolerance for risk, Virgin Galactic could be an interesting addition to a diversified portfolio.

About Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc

  • Ticker SPCE
  • Exchange NYSE
  • Sector Industrials
  • Industry Aerospace & Defense
  • Shares Outstandng 258,715,008
  • Market Cap $222M
  • Description
  • Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. focuses on the development, manufacture, and operation of spaceships and related technologies for conducting commercial human spaceflight and flying commercial research and development payloads into space. It is also involved in the ground and flight testing, and post-flight maintenance of its spaceflight system ve...
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