Virgin Galactic stock dives after analyst says ‘SELL’ after launch delay, stock sale plan

Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. took a 17.3% dive in premarket trading Friday, after Truist analyst Michael Ciarmoli recommended investors sell in the wake of the space-tourism company’s announcement that it was again delaying its first commercial launch and that it was selling more stock. Ciarmoli cut his rating to sell from hold and slashed his stock price target to $5 from $8. Of the 13 analysts surveyed by FactSet, five are now bearish, six are neutral and only two are bullish. In addition to concerns raised from the launch delay, Ciarmoli said the “cash burn continues to grow” due to higher research and development. “We currently model for the company to burn through its $1.1 billion cash balance by 3Q24 and yesterday’s $300M stock distribution agreement points to further dilutive equity offerings,” Ciarmoli wrote in a note to clients. “Amid a lack of operational activity and supply chain risks we move to SELL.” The stock has gained 9.2% over the past three months through Thursday but has tumbled 38.8% year to date, while the S&P 500 has ticked up 0.1% the past three months and lost 12.9% this year.

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