Virgin Galactic Stock Is Soaring Because Investors Are Buying the Rumor

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Virgin Galactic banal continued its chaotic upward thrust Thursday. But it could beryllium a antithetic communicative aft co-founder Richard Branson launches into space.

Courtesy Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic banal continued its wild ride Thursday. Shares are soaring arsenic the institution prepares to motorboat co-founder Sir Richard Branson into abstraction this weekend. The determination appears to beryllium different lawsuit of the concern adage ‘buy the rumor merchantability the news.’ If that is what’s going on, investors mightiness privation to see trimming positions up of the weekend.

Virgin Galactic (ticker: SPCE) banal roseate 17.3% Thursday. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, for comparison, are some down astir 1%. Stocks are down aft Japan declared a caller Covid exigency related to Delta variant infections.

For Virgin Galactic, determination isn’t overmuch quality to pin Thursday’s gains on. The banal has jumped from astir $15 to much than $50 since aboriginal May, aft the institution got its trial formation programme backmost connected schedule. Finishing up trial flights volition yet pb to the commencement of commercialized operations.


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Recently, trial flights person been capable to get the banal moving. Shares jumped 28% the first trading day aft the institution completed a manned trial formation connected May 22.

Virgin Galactic banal jumped different 39% connected June 25 aft the institution received its license from the Federal Aviation Administration to transportation paying customers. That was a bigger absorption to a bigger catalyst.

Virgin Galactic investors, it appears, are getting addicted to banal catalysts. And Thursday it seems they are bidding up shares, hoping for a repetition of those 2 accelerated gains. The adjacent catalyst for the banal is simply a trial formation slated for July 11 that volition see Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson.

The formation was scheduled connected July 1. “I genuinely judge that abstraction belongs to each of us,” said Branson successful a July 1 quality release. “As portion of a singular unit of ngo specialists, I’m honored to assistance validate the travel our aboriginal astronauts volition undertake and guarantee we present the unsocial lawsuit acquisition radical expect from Virgin.”

The occupation for investors is, erstwhile catalysts are known successful advance, stocks merchantability disconnected aft the lawsuit passes. Virgin Galactic banal did autumn astir 5% the time aft the 28% jump. Still, shares march upward to astir $40 earlier the FAA licence was awarded. But aft the trial formation jump, shares were inactive beneath wherever Wall Street believed they were worth.

On May 24, the archetypal trading time aft the May 22 trial flight, the mean expert price target was astir $30. Shares closed that time astatine astir $27. The mean expert terms people is $35, and the banal closed astatine $52.69 Thursday.

The divergence raises the hazard of a post-Branson formation sell-off. The marketplace is ever guardant looking, meaning the worth of a Branson formation volition beryllium successful shares earlier the formation really takes place. Investors mightiness privation to deliberation astir that arsenic they see holding each of their shares going into adjacent week.

Year to date, investors are surely blessed with their Galactic investment. Shares are up astir 122%.

Write to Al Root astatine allen.root@dowjones.com

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