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Virgin Galactic’s reverse stock split

June 14, 2024

Space tourism business Virgin Galactic announced a reverse stock split where existing shareholders received one new share for every 20 that they owned. The move, an attempt to stay within the rules of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), did no favours for the company and prompted at 14 per cent fall in value in after-hours trading on June 13th.

The news, while not unexpected, is a very long way from the once-upon-a-time $55 (€51.49) a share for the Sir Richard Branson-backed company back in 2021.

There could be further falls as the ‘new’ stock will not start trading until June 17th. The NYSE rules expect company shares to stay above $1 per share. Virgin Galactic’s were trading at 74 cents per share.

Virgin Galactic has further challenges in that for the next two years there will be no tourism flights – and thus no revenues from its passengers.

The company is building new spaceplanes (its Delta class) and has officially grounded its VSS Unity aircraft. The final flight was last weekend and carried its tourists 87.5 kms above the New Mexico desert.

Virgin galactic is planning to develop two Delta-class spaceships and begin flying them in 2026. These vehicles are designed to be more easily reusable and returned to operational flights and carry six instead of four passengers.

Most observers seem to think that the timeline is ambitious given that it does not to start building the spaceplanes until later this year.

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