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Virgin Galactic skyrockets 19% to an all-time high after the company moves its spacecraft to New Mexico (SPCE)

Published by Business Insider on Sat, 15 Feb 2020

Virgin Galactic moved its VSS Unity spacecraft from Mojave, California, to its commercial headquarters in New Mexico on Thursday, it said in a press release.Shares of the space-tourism company spiked 19% on Friday to an all-time high.Virgin Galactic says the VSS Unity will eventually shuttle paying customers to space and back.Watch Virgin Galactic trade live on Markets Insider.Read more on Business Insider.Virgin Galactic is one step closer to blastoff.The aerospace company's stock price surged as much as 19% on Friday to an all-time high of $28.23 per share, capping off five straight days of gains.Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday that it had relocated its SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Unity, from Mojave, California, to its commercial headquarters at Spaceport America's Gateway to Space building in New Mexico.Moving the spacecraft is a milestone for Virgin Galactic, as the VSS Unity will eventually shuttle paying customers to space and back from the Spaceport America facility, the company said. At the beginning of 2020, it set a goal of sending its founder, Sir Richard Branson, into space this year, for this 70th birthday, CEO George Whitesides told CNBC.Virgin Galactic's stock has more than doubled so far in 2020, fueled in part by bullish ratings from Wall Street firms that recommended investors buy shares, citing the company's near-term monopoly on space travel and comparing it to Tesla.That hasn't stopped short-sellers from pouring $388 million into bets against Virgin Galactic, roughly 31% of the company's float, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the financial-analytics firm S3 Partners. Short-sellers are down $214 million in mark-to-market losses since November, including a $10 million loss on Friday's stock spike, according to the report.As of September 30, Virgin Galactic had a waitlist with more than 600 people from 60 countries signed up to take a space-tourism flight. Each ticket costs about $250,000, adding up to $80 million in collected deposits and $120 million in potential revenue, Virgin Galactic confirmed in its third-quarter earnings report.Virgin Galactic became the first publicly traded space-tourism stock on the market in October when it began trading under the ticker SPCE. Its main competitors are Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, and SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk.Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: A big-money investor in juggernauts like Facebook and Netflix breaks down the '3rd wave' firms that are leading the next round of tech disruption
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