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Virgin Galactic launch delayed yet again, stock falls

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. delayed its initial launch of tourists into space for the third time in less than a year Thursday, sending shares back toward earth. In a quarterly earnings report, executives said the beginning of its commercial space-tourism business will begin in the second quarter of 2023, after it was pushed to the first quarter in May and the end of 2022 in October of last year. “While our short-term plans now call for commercial service to launch in the second quarter of 2023, progress on our future fleet continues and many of the key elements of our roadmap are now in place to scale the business in a meaningful way,” Chief Executive Michael Colglazier said in a statement. Shares fell more than 7%, which would add to a 73.4% descent in the past year. Virgin Galactic reported a second-quarter loss of $112.7 million, or 43 cents a share, on $357,000 in revenue. Analysts on average expected a loss of 43 cents a share on sales of roughly $400,000. Executives expect free cash flow to be negative in the third quarter to the tune of $110 million to $120 million, while holding roughly $370 million in cash and equivalents.

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