Feb 26, 2020 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208333884/composite SPCE -1.08% , an aerospace company, pioneering in private space flights and manufacturing of advanced air and space vehicles, announced the Q4 and end of year results. Company's key goal is to open access to space, so it is safe and affordable. Q4 brought the company closer to that goal by finalizing the transaction with Social Capital Hedosophia and becoming publicly listed on the NYSE. All of that affected further operational readiness of the Spaceport America in New Mexico, which is used by tenants like Virgin Galactic, TMD Defense and Space, White Sands Research and Developers and SpinLaunch.
White Sands Research and Developers LLC is based in Las Cruces, and it offers engineering and aerospace services like software development, flight modeling, systems engineering and suborbital launch services. TMD Defense and Space is based in El Paso and they plan to test ballistic missiles in Spaceport. SpinLaunch is a company aiming to move payloads to space with a spaceflight mass accelerator technology.
Tickets for space
Virgin Galactic, bringing Virgin branded customer experience, wants its customers to have a unique experience, lasting more than one day. Not all that time will be spent in space, but the spaceflight should provide real space adventure, views of the Earth and several minutes without gravity. All of this attracted just below 8.000 registrations of interest in flight reservations. This successful increase of interest registrations came after spending the last couple of years upgrading the spacecraft, which has now successfully flown two test flights to space, carrying five people in total (on both flights together).
These registrations of interest in flight reservations cost $1.000,00, and it represents refundable deposit securing a privileged position for future ticket purchase. Previous tickets were sold for $250.000, but we can expect that the company will increase the price, once they restart with ticket selling.
Q4 and 2019 results
When looking at these results, we should have in mind that the company spent several years in development, updating and upgrading its spaceship, with no ticket sales. Q4 revenues were $529,000, summing up to almost $3.8 million for the whole of 2019. That is an increase from 2018 revenues of $2.8 million but 2019 being its first full year of results. Taking into consideration huge research and development expenses, as well as similar SG&A, it is not a big surprise that the company showed a net loss of $73 million in Q4 or $210.9 million for the whole 2019 as it aims to be profitable by 2021. On the other hand, the company finished the year with cash and cash equivalents of $480 million as of December 31, 2019.
Virgin Galactic stocks rocketed in 2020. Investors seem to prefer riskier, more imaginative business endeavors. Similar goes for Tesla Inc /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +10.78% as Elon Musk's SpaceX and even Boeing Co /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA +2.98% who have their sights set even higher: that being the moon and eventually Mars. Space travel somehow goes with futuristic electric cars, preferably even with autopilots. But in the meaning, current tech giants' stocks like Google /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +2.04% and Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.55% with Bezos' billionaire-backed venture Blue Origin are a trailing a bit, almost seeming as they are not interesting enough. But space flights do seem just to be around the corner.
Here are some interesting details which may give us a better idea about when we can expect those spaceflights. Virgin Galactic started with the construction of astronaut training and flight preparation area by building the third floor at Spaceport America. The company also moved an additional 70 Virgin Galactic operations personnel from Mojave, CA to Spaceport America, bringing the total number of staff to 145. It also announced the $20 million investment by Boeing's HorizonX Ventures, forming a strategic partnership. Future astronaut spacesuits will be made in cooperation with Under Armour /zigman2/quotes/208967132/composite UA +4.10% , the company which also agreed to host the recently launched Astronaut Readiness program. All that activity cannot be without any reason. Hopefully, we will see how travel space looks like soon and maybe even gain an the International Space Station – and now that will even go beyond Harry Potter's 9 and 3/4 platform – no offence to J.K. Rowling intended!
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