Shares of space tourism company Virgin Galactic (SPCE 5.59%) continued their volatility on Monday, jumping as much as 7.3% in trading before closing up 5.6%. Shares have been on a wild ride in just the last month, but at least investors are getting some clarity about the company’s future.
Virgin Galactic’s more certain future
Last week, during the earnings call, management outlined plans to end current space flight operations with the spacecraft called Unity to focus the company’s attention on building the Delta spacecraft that will be able to carry six passengers (up from four today) and fly twice a week (up from once per month).
The new spacecraft is needed to get close to free cash flow positive, but it brings a lot of development risk because it’s a new design. But at least there’s clarity on the strategy, and management says they have enough cash to keep the company afloat until the new spacecraft is finished.
The waiting game begins
Given the low stock price, there are few options for raising the capital needed to keep the current spacecraft operational while building the next generation. So, this may have been the right move, but it means the company won’t be flying commercial flights from mid-2024 through sometime in 2026. Investors will need to wait and speculate on the future from now until then.
I expect there to be plenty of volatility in shares, given the uncertainty ahead. But this is a high potential stock if the company can successfully build and launch the Delta spacecraft on time.
Travis Hoium has positions in Virgin Galactic. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.