Virgin Galactic Stock is skyrocketing. Here’s why.

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Virgin Spaceship Unity and Virgin Mothership Eve

Courtesy of Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Holdings

The stock has been going through a rough patch over the past few weeks which has prompted investors to seek sacks of air sickness. But an announcement on Thursday spikes stocks: flight tests are about to resume.

Virgin Galactic stock (ticker: SPCE) is up 9.3% to $ 18.87 per share. the

S&P 500

gained 1.2% and the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

increased by 0.9%.

The jump, however, still leaves the stock down about 70% from a 52-week intraday high of $ 62.80 in February.

Virgin Galactic’s stock is down, as are many other more speculative stocks. the

Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derivative ETF

(SPAK), for example, is down 32% from the 52-week high set in February. Virgin Galactic is part of this ETF and completed its merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, in October 2019.

But the decline in Virgin Galactic’s stock can only be blamed on the market. The company has had some issues with its test flights, which must be completed before the company can begin business operations and generate sales.

Virgin Galactic management revealed issues with electromagnetic interference and flight control systems in late February during its fourth quarter earnings conference call, delaying test flights. Then, during the company’s first quarter earnings conference call on May 10, management revealed a new issue with parts wear and tear, further delaying testing.

Management had committed to updating and on Thursday Virgin Galactic announced that the test flight would take place on May 22, weather permitting.

Commercial flights will require more testing, with the next scheduled after full analysis of the May 22 data.

Takes longer than management wanted to start business operations, Virgin Galactic, in 2019, projected $ 210 million in sales for 2021. Analysts forecast $ 3.2 million. Virgin Galactic is trying to put civilians into orbit, and a spacewalk is not a walk. It’s a new activity, and one might have expected delays, but the severity of the blockages clearly hurt the title. Investors are hopeful that a resumption of testing may help stocks regain some of their previous momentum.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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