Banking

Cathie Wood’s space ETF sold off Virgin Galactic stock before it staged a massive rally following a successful test flight

Cathie Wood is the CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest, which runs three of the highest-returning stock ETFs of the last three years.

  • Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest sold most of its Virgin Galactic holdings as of May 25.
  • The gradual selling happened just before Virgin Galactic launched a successful test flight that pushed its stock to a six-week high.
  • As of May 25, only Wood’s ARKX had Virgin Galactic shares, holding only about $322 of the commercial-space flight company.
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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest ETFs sold off most of their Virgin Galactic holdings just before the commercial spaceflight company launched a successful test flight that pushed its stock to a six-week high.

The space tourism company completed its third crewed flight to the edge of space on May 22 following a botched attempt in December. Virgin Galactic shares were up 56% in the run-up to the launch and rose further when markets opened on Monday.

But by this time, Wood’s investment management firm has sold most of its holdings.

Only the ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF, ARKX, held Virgin Galactic shares out of all the six actively managed ARK ETFs as of May 25.

As of Tuesday, ARKX holds just 12 shares of Virgin Galactic worth around $322. Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that the fund in March had more than 220,000 shares.

The Ark Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF, or ARKQ, meanwhile, does not hold any shares of the company as of Tuesday. ARKQ, according to Bloomberg, held the bulk of Virgin Galactic shares among Wood’s ETFs.

In February, Ark held more than 1.7 million shares in a month when Virgin peaked to a record-high. Ark ETFs had boosted their holdings to more than 2 million by May, according to Bloomberg data.

Shares of the Mojave, California-based company were trading 7.55% lower to $24.86 as of 11:35 a.m. ET.

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