A banner hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of Virgin Galactic’s (SPCE) IPO in New York, the U.S., October 28, 2019.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Virgin Galactic released fourth-quarter results after the market closed Thursday, and the company revealed that its next space flight test will be delayed until May.
The company was targeting February 13 for the space flight test of its SpaceShipTwo “Unity” vehicle, which represents a repeat of its December flight attempt that was interrupted by an engine anomaly. Virgin Galactic’s investor presentation revealed that it “identified EMI as the root cause” of the engine flight abort in December, with “additional EMI impacts” discovered during preparations for the Feb. 13 ebb.
While there will only be two pilots on board, the flight is expected to be the first of three as the company looks to finish developing its spacecraft system and begin flying paying passengers.
Shares in Virgin Galactic fell as much as 11% in after-hours trading, after falling 8.4% for the day to close at $ 42.24 a share.
Virgin Galactic’s Unity spacecraft is planned for a landing after a flight test in New Mexico on June 25, 2020.
“We achieved several important milestones during 2020 despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a press release. “Going forward, we are focused on completing our test flight program, expanding our fleet of spacecraft and motherships, and developing our unique and transformative customer experience.”
The space tourism company reported an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $ 59.5 million, slightly below a loss of $ 66 million in the prior quarter. The company posted $ 0 of revenue in the quarter, as it did in the prior quarter. Virgin Galactic’s fourth-quarter loss of $ 0.31 per share was in line with the expectations of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
The company has about $ 666 million in cash available at the end of the year, down from $ 742 million in the third quarter.
Virgin Galactic also said it will launch the next spacecraft in its fleet, and the first generation SpaceShip III, on March 30. The next spacecraft will begin flight tests this summer.
The company announced Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Jon Campagna will step down, effective Monday. He will be replaced by Doug Ahrens, former chief financial officer of semiconductor specialist Mellanox.
Virgin Galactic revealed in a securities presentation that James Ryans, director of Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, resigned from the company’s board of directors on February 22. He was replaced by Gil West, the chief operating office for General Motor’s Cruise division.
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