The price of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (SPCE) shares jumped 38.9% to close at $55.91 on June 25.

Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company that operates in the United States. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft and carrier aircraft, with a focus on commercial tourism of space.

With a market capitalization of $13.5 billion, the stock has rocketed higher by 140.9% on a year-to-date basis and is up a whopping 262.6% over the past year.

Virgin Galactic is not yet profitable, though it hopes to achieve profitability very soon. Also, the company has not begun its commercial operations, but still the share price has been soaring high.

Eyes on the Skies

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Virgin Galactic's eyes are on the skies. The company has been trying hard to take the inhabitants of the earth to space for $250,000 per seat, this year.

Virgin Galactic seems to be lucky on that ground. On June 25, the company received a regulatory approval for a full commercial launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), enabling the company to fly customers into space. This marks the first such approval.

The news about FAA Approval was enough to send Virgin Galactic’s shares roaring high, marking the biggest percentage gain since it went public in October 2019.

The Federal Aviation Administration upgraded the spaceline’s existing license to fly customers, demonstrating the fact that Virgin Galactic has met the verification and other valid criteria required by the FAA.

Furthermore, in regard to the third test flight, which was held on May 22, the company announced that it has completed the review of all test data and confirmed that the flight performed well against all flight objectives. The spaceship’s upgraded horizontal stabilizers and flight controls demonstrated “strong performance." Also, the cabin environment fell within expectations.

On May 22, Virgin Galactic announced that it successfully flew its third spaceflight, named VSS Unity, to space and back. During the flight, the company carried scientific research experiments for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program and also collected data for spacecraft operator licensing.

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Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said, “We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight, which achieved our stated flight test objectives. The flight performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system." (See Virgin Galactic stock chart on TipRanks)

Colglazier further added, “Today’s approval by the FAA of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer.”

Given the successful completion of its first test flight, Virgin Galactic plans to continue to prepare for the three remaining test flights.

Space Tourism Market Holds Great Promise Ahead

The space tourism space has witnessed several developments during recent times. The market continues to boom as humans increasingly desire to find a chance to explore space.

Per a report from Industry ARC, the space tourism market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 12.4% for the period 2020-2025.

According to another report from Research and Markets, the space Industry is projected to reach $1.7 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 15.2% over the period 2020-2027.

Given the strong projections and Virgin Galactic's plans to launch a number of flights over the next three years, the company could be a winner in this space.

Analysts’ Opinions

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 6 Buys and 4 Holds. The average SPCE analyst price target of $28.67 implies 48.7% downside potential from the current levels.

On May 24, Bank of America Securities analyst Ronald Epstein reiterated a Buy rating on the stock but decreased the price target to $41.00 (26.7% downside potential) from $50.00, to reflect higher market risk premium and risk free rate.

Epstein commented, “We view SPCE's growth potential to be unparalleled versus our coverage and think the current nascent stages of the company provide investors with a unique buying opportunity for the stock.”

On May 26, Canaccord Genuity analyst Kenneth Herbert initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and a price target of $35 (37.4% downside potential), based on the May 22 successful test flight of SS2.

Herbert expects several potential events to occur in the second half of the year, which should benefit Virgin Galactic.

TipRanks' Metrics

Virgin Galactic scores a 8 of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

According to TipRanks' Risk Factors data, the main risk category for Virgin Galactic is Finance and Corporate.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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