Virgin Galactic (SPCE -1.67%) stock is taking wing again.
Soaring past its previous all-time high (hit in January), Virgin Galactic stock passed $15.80 per share around 2:10 p.m. EST today (and is therefore up 13.3% on the day)...and the reason may surprise you.
Turns out, the only news item of note concerning Virgin Galactic today is a press release issued by the company itself. Enrico Palermo, currently the president of The Spaceship Company ("TSC," which builds spaceplanes for Virgin Galactic, its sister company), has also just become the chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic.
Palermo will retain his position at TSC, arguably binding the companies even more tightly.
Wait. What? That's all the news there is?
Yes, indeed it is, and apparently, investors think it's worth nearly $400 million in additional market capitalization to Virgin Galactic! After today's run-up, the shares of this profitless, near-revenue-less space tourism pioneer now have a whopping $3.1 billion valuation.
Can Virgin Galactic hold on to all of these gains? Perhaps. It's still a long way -- about 40 days -- until Virgin Galactic reports its next round of financial results. The company could spook investors with news of more losses, and no new revenue. Between now and then, there's little prospect of bad news wrecking the stock's positive momentum.
To the contrary, Virgin Galactic has several weeks in which it can report successful test flights, new signups among customers looking to fly on its spaceplane, and maybe the outside chance of a successful first flight carrying paying passengers into space.
Pricey as the shares look to me today, I see no obvious catalyst that might bring them back down to Earth.