Truist Financial Says Sell Virgin Galactic on Latest Schedule Delay, Quarterly Loss

Virgin Galactic is getting pounded by Wall Street analysts after announcing on Thursday that it was delaying the commercial start of its suborbital space tourism service from Q1 to Q2 2023. MarketBeat reports:

Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE – Get Rating) was downgraded by Truist Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Friday, The Fly reports. They presently have a $5.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $8.00. Truist Financial’s target price indicates a potential downside of 28.67% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on SPCE. Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on Virgin Galactic in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $4.00 target price for the company. Canaccord Genuity Group lowered shares of Virgin Galactic from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $36.00 to $8.00 in a report on Friday, May 6th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity Group cut Virgin Galactic from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $8.00 in a research note on Friday, May 6th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.00.

Virgin Galactic reported a net loss of $111 million for Q2. The company has lost more than $1 billion since going public in October 2019. Prior to being listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the company had forecast beginning commercial flights in June 2020. The latest schedule shift represents a delay of nearly three years.

A major reason for the latest delay is the overhaul of the 14-year old WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve mothership, which air launches SpaceShipTwo vehicles from around 50,000 ft. The vehicle was rolled out by builder Scaled Composites in July 2018 and first flew in December of that year. Scaled intended it as a proof of concept prototype that was never designed to enter commercial service.