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March 17, 2021, 7:33 a.m. EDT

Virgin Galactic gets a bullish endorsement from Truist analyst, with the price target implying a 54% gain

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYS:SPCE) has a new top bull on Wall Street, after Truist analyst Michael Ciarmoli started coverage of the spaceflight company Wednesday with a buy rating and $50 stock price target. Ciarmoli's target is now the highest of the 10 analysts surveyed by FactSet, and well above the average target of $38.50. His target is 53.8% above Tuesday's stock closing price of $32.51. The stock fell 3.0% in premarket trading, after dropping 6.6% on Tuesday to snap a 5-day win streak. "We see several near-term catalysts for the shares as the company demonstrates its capabilities through a series of testing activities planned during 2021, and believe that once commercial operations commence (likely in our view in early 2022), demand will significantly exceed supply, providing the company with pricing leverage and enabling margin accretion as the company scales its operations," Ciarmoli wrote in a note to clients. "Ultimately we believe [Virgin Galactic] can capture at least 50% of the global space tourism [total available market (TAM)] by 2030." The stock has soared 156.8% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has advanced 56.7%.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.