VIRGIN GALACTIC SHARES DOWN 9% ON THE DAY OF THE SAFETY FLIGHT IN SPACE
Billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic shares fell 9% on the day of his rival Jeff Bezos' successful space flight. Branson has been in space before the founder of Amazon, but it embarrassed investors that his company is selling its shares and still has not talked about the next space cruises.
Shares of the aerospace company Virgin Galactic of British billionaire Richard Branson fell nearly 9% on Tuesday and traded at a daily low of $ 29.54. At the time of publication (19:07 Moscow time), the securities were worth $ 30.5, losing 5.6% to the price of the previous close.
Stocks fell amid the successful space flight of Branson's rival, the world's richest billionaire, Jeff Bezos. The Amazon founder sailed into space on Tuesday aboard the New Shepard spacecraft, built by his company Blue Origin. On his team was 18-year-old Oliver Damen, the first commercial client of Blue Origin, to whom his father gave a paid ticket. The Blue Origin team rose above 100 km above the Earth, breaking the so-called Karman line - the conditional border between the Earth's atmosphere and space, and a little more than 10 minutes after the start, returned behind the Earth.
Branson flew into space before Bezos. On July 11, he ascended to an altitude of 86 km on the VSS Unity spaceplane, built by his company, and successfully returned to Earth. However, two days before the launch, Blue Origin publicly doubted that the British businessman would be in space, noting that his ship would not cross the Karman Line. The Bezos company also stressed that unlike Virgin Galactic, it will launch a rocket into space, and not a "high-altitude aircraft."
Branson's space company was down a few days after his flight, Bloomberg said. After the opening of trading on July 12, they fell by almost 13%. As Bloomberg wrote, Virgin Galactic's sale of its own securities embarrassed investors: last year the company sold more than $ 450 million in shares, and recently applied for the sale of shares for another $ 500 million. There are concerns in the market that this is not the last public offering of Virgin Galactic shares. Vivian Blumenthal, an analyst at the investment research firm BluLife, told the agency.
Investors were also disappointed that Branson's company still hadn't released plans for its next space cruises or announced ticket prices, Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert told Bloomberg.
In turn, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, shortly before Bezos's space flight, said that the company intends to carry out two more rocket launches with people before the end of 2021 and "more than half a dozen" next year. Thereafter, flights will take place approximately "every two weeks," he promised. Amazon founder's rocket prices are still unknown, but Blue Origin's sales director Arian Cornell, who hosted the broadcast of the billionaire's flight, invited those wishing to learn more about the upcoming flights by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite the competition, Richard Branson on Tuesday congratulated Bezos and the entire Blue Origin crew on a successful flight, calling it "impressive." “We are encouraged that more and more people are studying and conducting research in space, creating a positive effect here on Earth. Congratulations to Blue Origin on today's successful flight, together we will open space forever! " - wrote a representative of Virgin Galactic on Twitter of the company.
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