Virgin Galactic jumps over 20% as Street continues to recommend the space tourism company

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Sir Richard Branson poses on floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with Future Virgin Galactic space traveller Jennifer Rallison from Canada as Virgin Galactic (SPCE) began public trading in New York, October 28, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Shares of Virgin Galactic surged as much as 22% in trading Monday after Wall Street firms continued to set higher expectations for the space tourism stock.

The stock jump came after Bank of America and Susquehanna began coverage of Virgin Galactic. Notably, the two firms join six others in recommending Virgin Galactic’s stock to investors, giving the company the eight Wall Street buy ratings – and zero to hold or sell.

“No company in our coverage universe has anywhere near comparable growth potential,” Bank of America analyst Ron Epstein said.

Virgin Galactic is currently on pace for its fourth-biggest jump in a trading day since its public debut last year. Including Monday’s climb, the stock is up more than 70% this year.

The space tourism has yet to begin commercial service and lacks significant revenue, with quarterly losses of more than $50 million as it finishes developing its spacecraft. But Virgin Galactic is closing in on its final development milestones, with two key remaining test flights in the coming months. Virgin Galactic told shareholders in August it expects to fly founder Sir Richard Branson in the first quarter of 2021, which will effectively mark its beginning commercial service.

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