Space SPAC Index: AST SpaceMobile Shares Plunge on $65 Million Stock Offering, Virgin Orbit Plummets on Not Selling Stock & Virgin Galactic Faces Headwinds

BlueWalker 3’s solar arrays deployed in the clean room. (Credit: AST SpaceMobile)

Welcome to this week’s Space Space Index, which will heretofore be abbreviated as S-SPACi.

There’s some interesting developments this week. AST SpaceMobile’s shares plunged when it decided to sell more stock. Virgin Orbit saw the same result when it made the opposite decision. And Virgin Galactic had an analyst reduce its stock target due to economic headwinds.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

AST SpaceMobile Shares Plunge on Stock Sale

Shares of AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS) plunged more than 11 percent in after-hours trading after the satellite communications company announced it would sell $65 million of Class A common stock. The stock is currently down 11.36 percent at $5.62 after closing the day down a penny at $6.34.

In addition to the $65 million in stock, company said it would also grant underwriter B. Riley Securities a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $9.75 million shares at the public offering price to cover any over-allotments. (Read the announcement here.)

SpaceMobile is raising the money to continue development of its constellation of satellites that will provide communications services to cell phones.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank analysts raised their price target for AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS) from $30 to $32 based on progress the company has made in recent months. Deutsche Bank analysts believe the accomplishment of early milestones has reduced the technological risk associated with the ambitious venture.

AST SpaceMobile launched its BlueWalker 3 prototype satellite on Sept. 10. The spacecraft has since unfurled its massive antenna that measures 64 square meters (689 square feet). It is the largest communications satellite array ever deployed in Earth orbit.

AST SpaceMobile will use BlueWalker 3 to test the delivery of communications through existing cellular phone networks.

Virgin Orbit team completing final technical rehearsal of LauncherOne R5 for January flight. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Virgin Orbit Nixes Stock Sale

Shares of Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB) plunged 8.2 percent from $2.92 to $2.68 on Monday in the wake of the company’s decision to not sell additional stock due to poor market conditions. The stock was up 2.2 percent to close at $2.74 on Tuesday.

Virgin Orbit made the announcement as it deals with financial challenges and regulatory delays with its next launch. Virgin Orbit received a $25 million investment from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group on Nov. 4, three days prior to reporting third quarter earnings that revealed its cash and cash equivalents had declined from $194.2 million at the end of 2021 to $71.2 million as of Sept. 30. The company reported a net third quarter loss of $43.6 million.

Virgin Orbit has been in the midst of ramping up production of its LauncherOne boosters and has also acquired two additional Boeing 747’s for launch and cargo operations. Virgin Orbit still lacks a license from the UK government to conduct a launch from Spaceport Cornwall. The launch was originally scheduled for late August.

You can read more about Virgin Galactic’s financial challenges in our previous story, Virgin Orbit Abandons Securities Offering Amid Shrinking Cash Reserves, Financial Losses and Launch Delays.

BoA Drops Virgin Galactic Target Price

VSS Unity in flight on July 11, 2021. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic Stock Target Lowered

Bank of America Securities analyst Ronald Epstein on Tuesday reiterated an underperform rating on Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE) stock and cut its price objective from $5 to $4 due to risks posed to the company’s business model by macroeconomic headwinds that include high inflation and rising interest rates.

In a note to investors, Epstein noted progress in outsourcing through the selection of Bell Textron and Qarbon Aerospace as primary suppliers for the company’s Delta-class SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicles. Those spaceships, which will carry six passengers and be capable of weekly flights, won’t enter service until 2026.

In the meantime, Virgin Galactic plans to start commercial service in the second quarter of 2023 with VSS Unity. The spacecraft will fly with four passengers once per month.

A second spacecraft, VSS Imagine, won’t enter service until 2023. It will be capable of flying every two weeks with six passengers aboard.

S-SPACi

The table below shows closing prices for all the space SPACs we’re currently following. Please let us know if we have missed any.

S-SPACi
Nov. 29, 2022

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
11/29/22
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ)Sept. 7, 2021$9.25$41.52
(9/23/21)
$7.57
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95
(7/2/21)
$0.51
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48
(6/30/21)
$6.34
($5.61 after
hours)
BlackSky (NYS: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20
(9/16/21)
$1.62
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87
(9/7/21)
$1.07
Planet Labs (NYS: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65
(12/8/21)
$5.19
Redwire (NYS: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98
(10/25/21)
$2.15
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34
(9/9/21)
$3.96
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92
(5/4/22)
$4.35
Satixfy (NYS: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
(11/17/22)
$15.39
Spire (NYS: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50
(9/22/21)
$1.27
Terran Orbital (NYS: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69
(3/28/22)
$2.44
Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80
(2/4/21)
$4.91
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28
(1/11/22)
$2.74
Stock Price Source: Yahoo Finance