Virgin Galactic stock soars following SpaceX success

US astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have successfully disembarked the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and entered the International Space Station.

Posted: Jun 1, 2020 12:41 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2020 12:41 PM

Elon Musk's SpaceX isn't publicly traded. But investors found another way to celebrate this weekend's successful Dragon launch and docking at the International Space Station.

Shares of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic surged more than 6% in early trading Monday. The stock is now up nearly 60% since Virgin Galactic went public last October through a merger with a so-called special purpose acquisition company.

Optimism about the SpaceX launch, the first manned mission by NASA in nine years, could provide a boost to the fortunes of many companies with ties to the business of space.

An exchange-traded fund that invests in some of those companies, the Procure Space ETF, was up 2.5% Monday.

Virgin Galactic is one of the largest holdings in the ETF, which trades under the ticker symbol UFO.

The ETF also owns several media companies that rely on satellite technology, such as DISH Network and Sirius XM, as well as navigation and mapping technology firm Garmin.

SpaceX is not in the ETF but would probably become a top stock in it if the company ever decided to go public.

SpaceX, run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is currently valued at $36 billion based on its most recent round of financing. That makes it one of the most valuable startups in the world.

Musk has consistently maintained that SpaceX is not looking at an IPO.

Nonetheless, the excitement about SpaceX's great weekend appeared to spill over to Tesla Monday. Shares of Tesla rose nearly 5%.

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