Virgin Galactic Stock Is Dropping. Wall Street Reacts to Friday’s Gains.

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Stock of space-tourism firm Virgin Galactic is lower Monday, giving back some of Friday’s gains.

Courtesy Virgin Galactic

Stock in space-tourism pioneer

Virgin Galactic

is lower Monday, giving back some of Friday’s incredible gains fueled by an important milestone the company met on its path to carrying paying customers.

Virgin Galactic (ticker: SPCE) is down about 5.5% in morning trading Monday, falling to $52.80 from $55,91. Still, that $3.11 drop is smaller than Friday’s $15.65 jump.

Shares soared almost 39% after the company announced it had received its commercial operating license following a successful May test flight. Friday’s “approval by the Federal Aviation Administration of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer,” said Virgin Galactic CEO
Michael Colglazier
in the company’s news release last week.

The gains, however, have left shares trading well above the average analyst price target. It has been hard for analysts to keep up. Things went bad quickly for the stock earlier this year, and they then went good quicker than anyone expected. Shares traded below $15 after flight testing delays were announced in early May. The trip from $15 to $50 has taken less than seven weeks.

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Coming into Friday, the average analyst price target was $30 a share. Monday, the average analyst price target is to almost $32. Apparently, Wall Street was expecting the FAA to grant a commercial operator license eventually.

UBS analyst Myles Walton wrote Monday the license was “an expected and necessary” step. He rates shares at Buy. His price target, however, is $36.

Alembic Global Advisors analyst Peter Skibitski cut his rating to Hold from Buy Monday, and lowered He took his price target to $36 from $28 a share.

Now four of 10 analysts covering the company rate Virgin Galactic stock at Buy. That’s down from six a few days ago, according to Bloomberg. None, however, have a price target near were shares are trading. The highest target price on the Street comes from Truist analyst Michael Ciarmoli. He rates shares at Buy, and has a $50 price target.

Ciarmoli wrote Friday that the news was a positive and he expected shares to trade higher. Shares were about $40 when he wrote that comment.

Virgin Galactic stock is still up about 123% year to date, far better than comparable gains of the

S&P 500


Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Write to Al Root at