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Virgin Galactic shares fall after another quarterly loss, no date set for next spaceflight test

Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft releases its spacecraft Unity during a glide flight test.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic delivered first quarter results after the market closed on Monday, announcing that it has yet to set a target date for its next spaceflight test, which the company previously planned for this month.

“Timing of next flight test is currently being evaluated,” the company said in a press release.

The space tourism company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $55.9 million, down slightly from a loss of $59.5 million in the previous quarter and below the adjusted EBITDA loss of $63.6 million expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The company booked zero dollars of revenue in the quarter, as it did in the prior quarter. Virgin Galactic had about $617 million in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter, down from about $666 million in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Virgin Galactic fell more than 3% in after hours trading, having closed down 8% at $17.95 a share on Monday.

The stock has fallen 24% year to date – having dropped more than 70% from highs above $60 a share hit in February.

Virgin Galactic’s stock losses accelerated over the past two months after delays to its test program, as well as share sales by chairman Chamath Palihapitiya, founder Richard Branson, and Cathie Wood’s new space ETF. The stock also fell after Jeff Bezos’ venture Blue Origin announced plans to launch the first crewed flight of its space tourism rocket on July 20, a move which UBS warned likely removes Virgin Galactic’s first-mover advantage.

The company is working to complete development of its SpaceShipTwo system, with four test flights remaining before Virgin Galactic begins commercial service in 2022.

Virgin Galactic attempted the first of those four spaceflight tests in December, but the mission was cut short by an engine anomaly. The company scheduled a repeat of the flight attempt for February, but then delayed to May to give more time to address an electromagnetic interference issue with the spacecraft’s flight computer. Virgin Galactic said in its first quarter report that it completed corrective work on the issue, saying VSS Unity “is ready to start pre-flight procedures for flight.”

The fourth spaceflight test, expected later this year, will carry members of the Italian Air Force for professional astronaut training. It will be Virgin Galactic’s first “full revenue flight,” with the company disclosing it will generate $2 million – or the equivalent of $500,000 per seat.

In the meantime, Virgin Galactic in March unveiled the next spacecraft addition to its fleet, VSS Imagine, which is the first of its next-generation SpaceShip III class.

Virgin Galactic

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