I imagine Virgin Galactic (SPCE -1.15%) shareholders humming a sad tune this month: "Wake Me Up When September Ends."
Since the start of this month, shares of the space tourism pioneer have fallen a depressing 14% through Wednesday's close. They're down again today -- 4.5% as of 9:45 a.m. EDT -- and perhaps most disconcertingly, Virgin Galactic shares are down on no news at all.
Maybe this isn't how things should have worked out. Earlier in the month, Virgin Galactic received a double dose of good news when Swiss investment bank UBS initiated coverage of the stock on Sept. 8 with a buy rating and a $25 price target ($10 higher than where Virgin Galactic trades today). One day later, Credit Suisse seconded the emotion with an upgrade to outperform.
But ever since, it's been crickets from Virgin Galactic -- no positive pronouncements from Wall Street. No positive news out of the company itself.
Lacking profits and with even revenue uncertain now that Virgin Galactic has postponed its first commercial flight into 2021 at the earliest, Virgin Galactic is not a buy on any valuation metric -- because there really are no clear valuables to measure here, no positive numbers to assign a price-to-something, anything-ratio to. And lacking something to measure, Virgin Galactic has to trade on hope and news flow. Until the company says something to get investors feeling optimistic again, investors may see little reason to buy.
In that regard, it's worth noting: Virgin Galactic's next test flight won't take place until Oct. 22.