Virgin Galactic Posts Latest Loss, Says Space Tours on Track for 2023

Q3 Loss Wider Than Estimates, Cash at $1.1B After Stock Sales

Virgin Galactic Tourist Spaceship VSS Unity Spaceport
Courtesy of Virgin Galactic

Key Takeaways

  • Virgin Galactic posted a Q3 FY 2022 loss of 55 cents per share, wider than analysts expected.
  • The space flights operator said passenger launches remain on track to return in Q2 2023.
  • Virgin Galactic has been upgrading its spacecraft after tests revealed a possible weakness more than a year ago.
  • The company also announced the main suppliers for its new Delta class of spaceships this week.

Virgin Galactic Key Stats

Virgin Galactic Earnings Results
Metric  Beat/Miss/Match Reported Value Analysts' Prediction
Adjusted EPS ($) Miss -0.55 -0.39
($ thousand)
Beat 767 200

Source: Predictions based on analysts' consensus from Visible Alpha

Virgin Galactic Financial Results: Analysis

Virgin Galactic Holding Inc. (SPCE) posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss and said it remains on track to launch commercial suborbital flights by the middle of next year after a prolonged grounding of its spacecraft for upgrades.

The firm founded by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson lost 55 cents per share, wider than the consensus estimate of 39 cents from analysts tracked by Visible Alpha.

Revenue totaled just $767,00, while cash outflows were $107 million, slightly less than Virgin Galactic projected three months ago.

Virgin Galactic's Outlook, Stock Sales, Cash

Virgin Galactic said it expects a cash drain of $120 million to $130 million in the fourth quarter.

The company said it raised $100 million in gross proceeds during the third quarter by selling 15.6 million shares through an at-the-market program. Virgin Galactic had $1.1 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of Q3.

The stock rose 2.2% in after-hours trading. It's down 77% over the last year as of the Nov. 3 close.

Virgin Galactic's Space Flight Plans

The overhaul of the company's rocket plane and the larger aircraft used to ferry it to altitude before launch started more than a year ago, after testing revealed a potential structural weakness. Virgin Galactic initially said it would start commercial service by the fourth quarter of this year, then pushed the date to the first quarter of next year and most recently to the second quarter, "due to extended completion dates within the mothership enhancement program."

"We remain on track to launch commercial service in the second quarter of 2023, and we look forward to validating the modifications to VMS Eve and VSS Unity with multiple scheduled test flights in the coming months," CEO Michael Colglazier said in the earnings release.

Virgin Galactic has recently firmed up plans for new spacecraft designed to make weekly flights from its New Mexico spaceport, ferrying six passengers each to brief tours of space. On Nov. 2, Virgin Galactic named Textron Inc. (TXT) subsidiary Bell to supply flight control surfaces and the feathering system designed to change the wing configuration on its planned Delta class spaceplanes in preparation for landing, and Qarbon Aerospace as the supplier of the fuselage and wings.

The Deltas are to be assembled starting in 2023 at Virgin Galactic's planned factory in Mesa, Arizona, at a rate of up to six per year. They're expected to be ready for commercial payload launches in late 2025 and passenger service in early 2026. Virgin Galactic recently named a Boeing (BA) subsidiary as the supplier of the two motherships designed to transport the Deltas to their launch altitude at 50,000 feet.

Virgin Galactic has been accepting $150,000 deposits from passengers wishing to buy a $450,000 ticket for one of its 90-minute space flights. Branson and five others made the company's inaugural passenger space flight in July 2021, shortly before one by rival Blue Origin carrying its founder, Jeff Bezos, and Star Trek star William Shatner, among others.

Article Sources
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