Why Virgin Galactic Stock Dropped Today | The Motley Fool

What happened

Seven months ago, as it anticipated getting its space tourism business off the ground and flying passengers to space, Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) found itself in need of a new CEO to make that happen. It picked former Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Parks International president Michael Colglazier to make that happen.

Today, seven months closer to Virgin Galactic boarding its first passenger, Colglazier himself has reached back into Disney to pull an old colleague aboard. This morning, he tapped Walt Disney Imagineering vet Joe Rohde to become Virgin Galactic’s first “experience architect.” Despite the news, the company’s stock closed the day down 7.9%. 

The folks at Disney have watched another executive leave to go to Virgin Galactic. Is Minnie next? Image source: Getty Images.

So what

As Virgin Galactic said on its website in an announcement today: “Rohde is truly a transcendent creator whose design work leverages careful detailed composition to create authentic and remarkable experiences. The work he is starting will stimulate curiosity, guide the imagination, and anchor the Virgin Galactic customer experience with purposefulness and meaning.”

But investors are probably worrying about Virgin’s upcoming fourth-quarter earnings report due out Thursday, Feb. 25. Analysts have warned that it’s going to be another lean quarter, with sales of perhaps a half-million dollars and a big net loss of $0.31 per share. 

Now what

Virgin Galactic investors have probably gotten used to losses by this point. But at least they were hoping to get some good news before the bad news, in the form of a successful test flight or two before earnings day. Instead, it’s been more than a week since Virgin canceled its last flight test, and there’s been no confirmation on when the company might try again.

Until Virgin Galactic updates investors on its flight test schedule, all it’s really giving them to look forward to is another “earnings” report that’s chock-full of losses. And there’s little to get excited about with that.

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