SPCE Stock: Why Virgin Galactic Is Falling Back to Earth After Historic Test Flight

This weekend was a historic one for space travel. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) took the billionaire to the edge of space, beating out Jeff Bezos. The moment has raised the stakes permanently for space travel and exploration, and as such, investor sentiment is through the roof. However, SPCE stock is taking a bit of a beating today. It seems like even a fully crewed space flight couldn’t prevent a share offering from tanking the stock price.

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) banner hanging on the New York Stock Exchange building to celebrate its IPO.

Source: Christopher Penler / Shutterstock.com

Yesterday saw Branson’s successful trip to the edge of space. The doors have flung wide open on space travel for paying customers looking for a non-traditional way to spend some time off.

Branson, the underdog (if you can call a billionaire an underdog) in the new space race, beat Bezos by over a week. With licensure from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing passenger travel, it seems like a commercial launch for Virgin is coming sooner than you’d think.

SPCE Stock Slips on Announcement of Share Offering

However, the good news isn’t lasting all that long for SPCE stock holders. This morning is seeing the company filing to sell more shares. Virgin Galactic seeks to sell an additional $500 million in shares. Fears of stock dilution are draining SPCE’s value today, dragging the stock down 12% at the time of writing.

Some are using the sale opportunity to expand their stake, looking to buy Virgin Galactic at a discount. Over 73 million shares have traded hands this morning, against the daily average volume of about 34 million. For retail investors, it’s also worth noting that over 22% of the stock’s float is short.

Despite the share sale, investors are likely to remain keen on Virgin Galactic. Blue Origin and SpaceX are both private companies, meaning Virgin gives the most direct stock exposure to commercial spaceflight.

On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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