Virgin Galactic’s shares rose up to 25% on Thursday after the space tourism company scheduled a test flight for its Unity spacecraft that Saturday. In anticipation of successful weather and technical checks, the SpaceshipTwo Unity will take off with two pilots on Saturday and reach an altitude of 50,000 feet.
Virgin Galactic stocks have gone down along with many other more speculative stocks. For example, Defiance Next Gen’s SPAC Derived Exchange Traded Fund (SPAK) is down around 32% from the 52-week high set in February. Virgin Galactic is a member of this ETF and completed its merger with a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) in October 2019.
The decline in Virgin Galactic’s shares cannot just be blamed on the market, however. The company has had some issues with its test flights that must be completed before the company can begin commercial operations and generate sales.
It is taking longer than management wanted to go into commercial operation. Virgin Galactic forecast sales of $ 210 million in 2019 for 2021. Analysts are now forecasting sales of $ 3.2 million.
Virgin Galactic is trying to put civilians into orbit, and a spacewalk is no cake. It’s new business and some delays would have been expected, but the severity of the raids clearly hurt the stock. Investors hope that resuming testing can help stocks regain some of their previous momentum.