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Retail Investors Bet Heavily on Virgin Galactic’s Space Travel

Virgin Galactic Holdings shares climbed 24% Tuesday, elongating a rally since early December to more than 400% and invoking a warning from an analyst who likes the space tourism firm; however, he warns it has become overbought.Retail Investors Bet Heavily on Virgin Galactic's Space Travel

Shares of the company financed by billionaire Richard Branson have taken off in popularity among individual traders in recent sessions, almost displacing Tesla another favorite among non-skilled traders.

Virgin Galactic was the third most traded share on Fidelity’s online brokerage in the latest sessions, with two-thirds of clients betting on shares, rather than selling. Orders for Virgin Galactic on Fidelity trailed Apple and Tesla.

Fanning enthusiasm around area tourism Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s SpaceX introduced plans to send as much as four private citizens on an orbital trip aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Virgin Galactic is competing against SpaceX and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to bring tourists into space; however, it is the only one of the three whose shares are publicly listed. That makes Virgin Galactic the only option for stock market traders who wish to purchase into the emerging enterprise of a space voyage.

Virgin Galactic has more than 600 reservations and $80 million in deposits for 90-minute flights that include several minutes of weightlessness, priced at $250,000 a ticket.

The shares received a boost last week after Virgin Atlantic moved its SpaceShipTwo vessel to its operational station in New Mexico.

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