Space stocks looks to Virgin Galactic for fuel
Space stocks: The first half of 2021 has been a wild ride for space tourism company Virgin Galactic. This Sunday, its founder, Richard Branson, will blast into space for the first time.
What’s the big deal: A joy ride to space is closer than ever. 2 weeks ago, Virgin received its commercial space-launch license — allowing the company to take on passengers. If Sunday goes smoothly:
- Virgin is that much closer to bringing space tourism business to customers — with a 90min ride costing over $300k.
- The company could finally see sales after years of burning capital to fund its development.
It’s more than just a billionaire’s race to space (Bezos vs. Branson). With a whole industry watching, its success would cause interest and investment in the sector to take off.
Space investing has entered the chat: Companies and investors are already capitalizing on the space trend. But beyond Virgin, success has been mixed:
- Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) — the company looking to become the “Amazon of Space” is up 26% in 2021.
- Early this year, ARK Invest launched its Space ETF (BATS:ARKX) — which hasn’t rocketed as hoped, only up 2% since March.
Space companies of all types are going public via SPAC — i.e. Satellite companies (Planet Labs and Satellogic), and space infrastructure (Redwire). But the list is missing the biggest name — Elon Musk’s SpaceX/Starlink.
Looking forward: Orbiting back to Virgin, its stock soared by over 180% in two months. But after its big move up, UBS analyst Myles Walton downgraded the stock to “neutral” — not expecting much upside left.
When it comes to rockets, there’s always the possibility of last-minute delays. Regardless of Sunday’s flight results, Virgin’s in for a ride.