Two days ago, Virgin Galactic (SPCE -4.51%) went "to the moon" on news that it has reopened ticket sales for space tourism aboard its suborbital spaceplanes -- with flights to begin before the end of this year. But two days later, Virgin Galactic is on track to post back-to-back stock market losses -- down 9% as of 1:50 p.m. ET -- as investors begin to realize:
Virgin Galactic's next news announcement probably won't be so happy.
Next Tuesday, Feb. 22 after close of trading, Virgin Galactic is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter "earnings" for 2021.
I say "earnings" -- in quotes -- because it's all but certain that Virgin Galactic actually did not earn anything at all last year. The company only generated revenue in two of the year's four quarters that we know of -- Q2 and Q3. And given that the last time Virgin Galactic flew to space was in July (i.e., early Q3), with company founder Sir Richard Branson aboard, it's unlikely Virgin Galactic will have any revenue, or any earnings, to report for Q4, either.
Revenues will probably be unchanged at just a hair over $3 million for the year, while losses will continue to mount. Analysts forecast a total loss of $1.51 per share for 2021.
If investors don't have earnings, or even new revenue to look forward to next week, what do they have to look forward to?
In a note out Tuesday, investment bank Morgan Stanley may have hinted at an answer. Noting that Virgin Galactic's "Eve" spaceplane is not expected to fly again before June 2022 "at the earliest," investors will probably want to hear Virgin Galactic outline its progress building new spaceplanes and answer the biggest question that Morgan Stanley has about the stock: Does Virgin Galactic still believe it will be able to scale-up to flying tourists into space 400 times per year? And if so...how?
If Virgin Galactic answers those questions next week, we'll be sure to tell you about it.