SpaceShipTwo Spacecraft Unity during a glide test in New Mexico.
Space tourism company Virgo Galactic reported third quarter results on Thursday at an increased loss as the company plans to fly two more test room flights to complete its development program.
“We made good progress during the quarter and completed the final steps in preparation for the first VSS Unity rocket-powered test flight from Spaceport America in November,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, in a press release.
The next test flight is expected to take place between November 19th and 23rd already planned for October 22nd.
Virgin Galactic’s shares rose approximately 3% after close of trading. The stock closed 6.3% at $ 19.17 per share ahead of the report.
Virgin Galactic posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $ 66 million, compared to $ 54 million in the previous quarter. The company posted $ 0 in revenue for the quarter but received about 200 additional refundable ticket deposits. That brings the total number of deposits of $ 1,000 to about 900, up from about 700 in the second quarter.
“The report is as exciting as expected … they have spent a bit more money than last quarter but are still sitting on strong cash reserves,” said Andrew Chanin, CEO of ProcureAM, which Virgin Galactic holds on his report Space ETFsaid CNBC.
The company has approximately $ 742 million in cash after raising more than $ 440 million in a common stock offering in August.
Virgin Galactic said there have been ongoing delays in business and operations due to COVID-19, which has resulted in an accumulated impact on both schedule and cost efficiency.
“This is expected to continue into the fourth quarter and into 2021, although the company remains on track for its planned upcoming flights,” the company added.
A virtual representation of the interior of the Virgin Galactic’s six-passenger spaceship cabin.
Founded by Sir Richard Branson and published last year by a SPAC of Chamath Palihapitiyathe company is still in the development phase of its business. To date, two government-approved space flights have been completed, with the company anticipating two more test space flights before flying Branson on the company’s first commercial flight.
Virgin Galactic has approximately 600 reservations on its books, most of which sold a few years ago at a price of $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 per ticket. Virgin Galactic may not have sold tickets when the company completed development, but launched a deposit program called “One Small Step” earlier this year. Although Virgin Galactic now has 900 of those deposits on tickets, the One Small Step program will be discontinued later this year and ticket sales will be fully open again in 2021 after Branson’s flight. The company didn’t say how much tickets will cost when sales reopen. However, company executives have previously said that Virgin Galactic expects this due to the high demand for tickets increase their prices significantly for first commercial flights.
The next test space flight will only have two test pilots on board, although Virgin Galactic will generate some revenue from the flight as it will be transporting payloads for weightlessness research for NASA. Then the company will fly a second test room flight with four “mission specialists” in the cabin of the spacecraft.
Virgin Galactic stuck to the test flight schedule it presented in the second quarter, saying it continues to plan to fly Branson’s mission in the first quarter of next year. The company also expects to launch its second spacecraft in the first quarter, which will allow Virgin Galactic to fly more flights more frequently.
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