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Why Virgin Galactic Stock Popped 5% This Morning

By Rich Smith – Updated Jul 27, 2020 at 11:20AM

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And why the gains might not last.

What happened

Shares of space tourism company Virgin Galactic (SPCE 0.17%) popped more than 5% in early trading to open the week Monday morning, but those gains are already rolling back. As of 10:40 a.m. EDT, Virgin stock is down to about a 2.5% gain -- and falling.

So what

Honestly, I'm not surprised by that. Virgin bobbed up and down all last week, and mostly on no news -- at least, no news specific to Virgin. For a profitless company with almost no revenues and no business to speak of until it starts flying paying passengers into space, volatility comes with the territory.

Simply put, investors are trading on their hopes and fears for Virgin Galactic and not on the company's numbers -- because it really has no numbers.

Rising and falling stock arrow under a magnifying glass that reveals a big red question mark.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

What will it take for Virgin Galactic stock to stop wobbling up and down incessantly, pick a direction, and stick with it?

Absent a business of regularly scheduled flights producing dependable revenues and a calculable profit margin, a bit of actual news would be nice. The last thing Virgin told us that was of any real significance was that it was switching CEOs, and that was nearly two weeks ago. The next time we get actual news from Virgin Galactic might not be for another week, when the company is expected to report Q2 earnings.

Wall Street is predicting a loss of $0.26 (down from a prediction of a $0.25 loss a month ago). But if Virgin Galactic's new CEO can at least shed some light on when its first commercial flight might happen, that alone could be enough to give us a better idea of whether this stock is worth buying.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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