On Monday, shares of Virgin Galactic fell by more than 14 percent, despite Sir Richard Branson and his team’s successful flight to space and back. The stock price fell after the company filed notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would be selling up to $500 million of common stock. There was extreme volatility in trading, so it was briefly halted on Monday morning.
Virgin Galactic has 240 million shares outstanding. Of these, 164.6 million can be publicly traded. This is called float. Considering Virgin’s closing price of $49.20 on Friday, the $500 million stock would be equivalent to nearly 10.2 million shares.
On Sunday, founder Richard Branson and his crew crossed the final frontier and were in space for a few minutes. The flight took off with a full crew, which is a major milestone in the commercial race for space. The company’s goal is to take commercial travelers to space by 2022. Jeff Bezos will fly to space on the Shepard spacecraft, built by his company Blue Origin, on July 20.
The billionaires space race currently has Richard Branson in the lead, with Jeff Bezos 9 days behind, although Branson refused to call it a race. Elon Musk, the third space billionaire has spoken of going to.