Last week, Ark Invest's space exploration exchange-traded fund sold its last remaining shares of Virgin Galactic
Cathie Wood's popular investment firm sold its final 12 shares of Virgin Galactic from its ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF
After hitting an all-time high above $60 per share back in February, Virgin Galactic shares have begun to fall by nearly half after the space-travel company was met with more delays to its testing program and rising competition from private rivals run by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Investor sentiment towards the stock also soured after founder Sir Richard Branson and Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold off part of their shares in the company.
ARK has been selling its stake in the space tourism venture since late April, with its ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF
However, Virgin Galactic's stock has had a bit of a resurgence following the company's recent successful flight test in late May. The May 22 flight test was a critical first step for the company's commercial space flight timeline, especially since the test has been delayed by six months following its failed December attempt.
Since the "flawless" flight test--according to CEO Michael Colglazier--retail investors have rushed back into the stock, with the help of Reddit mania. Virgin Galactic shares soared more than 70% in less than two weeks, with ARK missing out on the rally.
The stock also saw another spike on Thursday after the company announced it will fly a researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences on a dedicated research flight to conduct experiment and test new healthcare technologies in space. Virgin Galactic says that researcher Kellie Gerardi will highlight the scientific research benefits and applications that Virgin Galactic's Spaceflight System provide for human-tended research experiments.
Virgin's recent spacetest represented the first of four remaining before it begins flying commercial customers. The next spaceflight will carry four passengers to test the spacecraft's cabin, while the third is planned to fly Richard Branson.