Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.

Space tourism is, depending on who you speak to, an exciting and vital test of technological capabilities and the spirit of adventure, or a spectacular waste of time and money. Virgin Galactic Holdings is one of three companies that hope to offer passengers the opportunity to take a short trip to the edge of the atmosphere. Their main rival, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, insists that Virgin Galactic doesn’t really take its passengers into space, as they do not cross the Kármán line at 100km above the surface of the earth.

Virgin Galactic’s customers don’t seem to mind too much – after departing the world’s first commercial spaceport they are buckled in to a ride which sees them experience several minutes of weightlessness, and a remarkable view of the earth from 300,000 feet. You cannot buy tickets for a spaceflight with Virgin Galactic; would-be customers express their interest using an online form, who are then probed as prospective leads by the company. Given flights are not yet regularly operational, many details are being worked out during development by the company. Guidance is that the cost of the eventual tickets will be $450,000, and CEO Michael Colglazier claims to have 700 firm prospects already out of a planned 1,000.

In 2014, tragedy struck Virgin Galactic’s original prototype, the VSS Enterprise, which broke up during a test flight, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. This led to the construction of a new prototype, and a major overhaul of the safety procedures. Some specialists called on Virgin Galactic to stop manufacturing spacecraft in the aftermath of this incident.

Virgin Galactic listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019 at $12.34, becoming the first publicly traded space tourism company. Around 18% of the company is held by Virgin Holdings, ultimately owned by Richard Branson. The next largest shareholder is SCH Sponsor Corp, an investment vehicle set up by two board members to manage their investment in Virgin Galactic. Vanguard, Virgin Investments, and SCH Sponsor are their largest institutional investors.

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Purchase Virgin Galactic shares by logging in to one of our platforms - SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO or SaxoTraderPRO - and searching for the ticker ‘SPCE’. If you don’t have an account, you can create one by clicking here.

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Virgin Galactic does not pay a dividend to investors. Like other technology companies, Virgin Galactic reinvests earnings back into the company for growth and expansion into new ventures.

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