SpaceShipTwo “Unity” on the runway after an abandoned space test on December 12, 2020.
Virgin Galactic shares fell in trading Wednesday when it was revealed that Ark Invest’s space research ETF had sold almost all of its remaining stake in the space tourism company.
Cathie Wood’s company sold 293,962 shares of Virgin Galactic from its ARKX fund on Tuesday, a day marked by wild-trading stocks according to the company’s first quarter results. Virgin Galactic shares fell 20% – below $ 15 per share – and began trading Tuesday before slowly rebounding as the day progressed and ending barely positive.
Virgin Galactic shares fell more than 10% on Wednesday from the previous close of $ 18.12. The company declined CNBC’s request for comment on Virgin Galactic’s dealings.
The stock has lost roughly half its value since ARKX began trading in late March when the fund debuted approximately 672,000 shares of Virgin Galactic – a position worth approximately $ 20 million at the time. Virgin Galactic shares then began to fall after delays in testing and commercial flights, as well as after share sales by Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya and then founder Richard Branson.
Ark cut its ARKX stake in Virgin Galactic by nearly half on April 20 after the stock fell below $ 23. Shares continued to decline earlier this month after Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin announced it would launch the first flight of its crewed space tourism rocket on July 20 – a move UBS warned would likely be Virgin Galactic’s first mover advantage cancel.
After Virgin Galactic reported first quarter results and questioned the schedule, Ark trimmed ARKX’s position to just 7,622 shares. Weighing in at 0.02%, it is now the smallest holding in the space ETF.
Ark Invest has also sold Virgin Galactic shares from its ARKQ Autonomous Technology and Robotics fund in the past few weeks, trimming its position from over 2 million shares in late April to just 7,879 shares on Wednesday. Like ARKX, Virgin Galactic is now the smallest holding in the ARKQ fund.
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