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Virgin Galactic stock crashes

Capitalism in space: For the first time since Virgin Galactic became a publicly-traded company two years ago, its stock on January 6th dropped below its initial offering price.

On Thursday, stock of the space tourism company fell to as low as $11.30 before rising back to $11.90 by the afternoon. When the company merged with a special purpose acquisition company to go public in 2019, its debut price was $11.75.

In the two years in-between, the price was pumped up to as high as $62, during which the company’s founder, Richard Branson, sold off about 80% of his stock, reducing his holdings from 51% of the company to only 11% and walking away with about $1.25 billion in cash.

Right now the company’s future is very much in question. It has delayed all of its commercial suborbital flights until late this year, if then. Meanwhile, Blue Origin is flying commercial suborbital tourist flights, and the orbital space tourism market is ramping up quite successfully. With no ability to enter that orbital market, Virgin Galactic appears to be at a dead end.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • David Reid Ross

    Branson can use some of those billions to wipe away the tears which I’m sure are streaming down his cheeks.

  • Jeff Wright

    What is sad is how quickly Rutan has been forgotten…Rocky Mountain low.

  • Jay

    I am surprised the V.G. stock has not gone any lower.

    If you read the last part of the article, you will see Blue Origin’s stock has gone down 75% to only $7 a share, down from $57. I did not realize it tumbled that much.

  • Rex Ridenoure

    Jay: Blue Origin is not a publicly traded company on the market. The mention of their stock in the posted article is an error.

    No, You Can’t Buy Blue Origin Stock. 3 Space Stocks to Watch Instead.

  • Jay

    Thank you for the correction. If Blue Origin had stock, it would have made bigger news with the delay of the BE-4.

  • Questioner

    I am invested in stocks myself and therefore deal with these topics out of self-interest.

    What amazes me is how quickly companies (can) become public stock corporations today and without actually being able to demonstrate a business model that has been tried and tested over many years and that includes good profits.

    Sure, anyone who buys such stocks should be aware of the risk (which includes total loss). You consciously buy risky stocks, but then the possible profit should also be in a healthy proportion to the risk of loss. But that is not the case here, because even if the business model of private space travel works, in my opinion, the growth of such companies cannot be “arbitrarily” large. The market is limited and will be exhausted after a period of 10 years or so.

  • wayne

    Nassim Taleb:
    “How Things Gain from Disorder”
    (Stanford, 2013)

  • BLSinSC

    After you’ve done it one time wouldn’t you have to drop the “Virgin” part? That’s the extent of my GAS ability with those low flying “space” clowns!

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