Sell Virgin Galactic’s stock after another long flight delay, UBS says

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Shares of Virgin Galactic dove Monday toward a five-month low, aft UBS expert Myles Walton recommended investors sell, aft different “long pushout” of revenue-generating trial flights was announced conscionable weeks earlier of a ample chuck of shares becomes disposable for sale.

Walton downgraded the space-tourism institution to sell, aft being astatine neutral since July 5. He slashed his banal terms people by 42%, to $15 from $26. The caller people implied a further 24% downside from existent levels.

The banal SPCE, -1.67% dropped arsenic overmuch arsenic 5% to an intraday debased of $19, earlier paring immoderate losses to beryllium down 1.2% successful midday trading. It has present shed 64.6% since closing astatine a four-month precocious of $55.91 connected June 25.

The downgrade comes 1 league aft the banal tumbled 16.8%, pursuing the company’s announcement that commercialized abstraction flights would not statesman until precocious 2022 aft an contented with immoderate materials was found. Walton noted that announcement was made conscionable astir a period aft the institution had delayed a powered formation to precocious October from precocious September due to the fact that of a supplier portion issue.

Don’t miss: Virgin Galactic announces different delay, and the banal is plunging.

Walton said that though the institution is taking the close measurement to support information first, the “starts and stops” of flights, coupled with longer crook times of existent procreation spaceships shows the trouble successful providing investors with predictable and reliable operations.

“The lawsuit way for the banal is present disjointed for the amended portion of the adjacent year, and with 24% of shares outstanding (32% of the float) exiting their lockup play astatine the extremity of the period we expect further unit up for the stock,” Walton wrote successful a enactment to clients.

Walton has present swung from bullish to bearish connected the banal successful 5 months, implicit a clip that the banal had astir tripled past mislaid each of those gains, and past some.

Stock goes afloat ellipse implicit the clip UBS expert Myles Walton swings to bearish from bullish

FactSet, MarketWatch

He had downgraded the banal to neutral from buy connected July 6, portion raising his terms people to $45 from $36, citing valuation aft the banal had much than doubled successful a small implicit a month. That followed Walton’s upgrade of the banal to bargain from neutral connected May 20, but trimmed his terms people to $36 from $40, saying that valuation was present charismatic arsenic capitalist fears implicit test-flight delays and competitory pressures were overblown.

The information that astir of the remaining insider stakes were locked up done October was different crushed to beryllium bullish. (A lockup refers to an statement by insiders not to merchantability the shares they ain for a antecedently agreed upon time.)

Interestingly, the banal closed connected the time Walton turned bullish astatine $19.81, oregon conscionable 0.2% supra existent levels.

In Monday’s note, helium said with the commencement of commercialized operations pushed retired to the 4th fourth of 2022, it moves the cumulative hold to 2 1/2 years from the mid-2020 people the institution had erstwhile it went nationalist 2 years ago.

“With a cumulative hold longer than the clip the institution has been public, it’ll beryllium a situation to get excessively optimistic connected formation cadence, and we’ve further lowered our outyear trajectory,” Walton wrote.

The banal has present tumbled 34.5% implicit the past 3 months, and has shed 11.9% implicit the past 12 months. In comparison, the S&P 500 scale SPX, +0.21% has gained 3.5% the past 3 months and soared 28.6% the past year.

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