In first public results, Branson's Virgin Galactic posts $73 mln quarterly loss

By Eric M.

Reuters February 26, 2020 05:06:17 IST
In first public results, Branson's Virgin Galactic posts $73 mln quarterly loss

In first public results Bransons Virgin Galactic posts 73 mln quarterly loss

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc , said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $73 million from a year-ago loss of $46 million as it reported its first results as a publicly traded company.

The quarterly results, which include one-time transaction and other related costs, come as the company is aiming for a first commercial flight later this year with Branson on board.

"It will be a transformative moment for the company," Chief Executive George Whitesides told analysts on a conference call, adding that revenue and cash flow will ramp up in 2021.

Shares of Virgin Galactic were volatile in after-hours trading and were last down 6.4%. Shares had rallied in recent days, driven by investor interest in the first space tourism company to hit public markets.

Virgin Galactic competes with billionaire-backed ventures such as Blue Origin, founded by Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos, to be the first to offer suborbital flights to fare-paying thrill seekers, presaging a new era of civilian space travel that could kick off as soon as this year.

Other players including Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing Co have their sights set on higher altitudes like the International Space Station, the moon and eventually Mars.

Some 600 people from 60 countries have paid or put down deposits to fly on one of Virgin's suborbital flights, worth about $80 million in total collected deposits and $120 million of potential revenue, the company said.

A 90-minute flight, which allows passengers to experience a few minutes of weightlessness, costs about $250,000.

Now, Virgin plans to seize on a wave of more than 7,900 "registrations of interest" it has received since then from would-be astronauts by collecting $1,000 deposits to secure a place in line as seats become available, it said on Tuesday.

Virgin Galactic has invested $1 billion in its reusable mid-air launch technology and said on Tuesday it was in talks with Italy and United Arab Emirates for potential spaceports.

Closer to Earth, Virgin also plans to develop hypersonic passenger air travel that could dramatically cut travel times across the world, the company said. For example, flying from New York to London would take about an hour, it said.

The company, which went public last year, reported fourth-quarter revenue of $529,000, and $3.8 million for 2019, the first full year of results.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Tracy Rucinski and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale
Business

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale

By Christoph Steitz, Tom Käckenhoff and Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp ended talks to sell its steel division to Britain's Liberty Steel due to differences over value, the latest setback in efforts to consolidate the European sector. Liberty Steel, led by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, last month submitted a firmed-up non-binding bid for Thyssenkrupp's steel unit, Europe's second biggest in terms of sales, which sources said included commitments to protect jobs and sites.

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo
Business

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo

(Reuters) - Reddit trading lingo may filter in to Washington on Thursday when top hedge fund managers, the head of Robinhood and Roaring Kitty himself are set to give testimony before U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers.

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze
Business

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze

By Stephanie Kelly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with Brent edging back from a 13-month high, after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories supported prices, while buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state petered out.