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Michael Sheetz+ Your Authors @thesheetztweetz Space Reporter @CNBC | pitches [email protected] | DM for cell, WhatsApp, Signal, ProtonMail | formerly @DJNF @ESTribune | alumnus @TheKingsCollege May. 05, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Virgin Galactic's Q1 2020 investor conference call is beginning now, including:

CEO George Whitesides
CFO Jon Campagna
COO Enrico Palermo
General Counsel Michelle Kley

Thread:  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/05/virgin-galactic-earnings-q1-2020.html 

Whitesides notes that Virgin Galactic has yet to fully reopen ticket sales, but he "will provide details about the progress we have seen with our one small step initiative" (i.e., the $1000 deposit program launched 3 months ago).

Whitesides: As of May 1, Virgin Galactic has tested 579 of our employees for COVID-19.

Whitesides: After the 1st glide flight, Virgin Galactic plans to fly at least one more glide flight before beginning rocket-powered flights.

Whitesides: "We've been delighted by the immediate positive response" for the $1,000 deposits, which "provides us with a pool of qualified prospects for converting" into space tourists.

Whitesides: "We see no meaningful increase in refund requests from our future astronauts as a result of COVID-19."

He notes a "major factor here is the financial profile" of most Virgin Galactic customers (i.e., they're wealthy) which helps "limit the impact economic downturns."

Campagna: Given the current economic situation, Virgin Galactic is "taking additional steps to preserve our liquidity, including reducing executive bonuses and temporarily reducing executive and director compensation and deferring or eliminating non-essential hiring." $SPCE

Virgin Galactic analyst Q&A beginning now.

Credit Suisse: What's your updated timeline?

Whitesides: "It was a really big deal to get this last flight off," showed ability of team to operated under COVID-19 constraints.

"We're feeling pretty good overall" but need to see how it goes before giving new projections. $SPCE

Credit Suisse: Would current restrictions stop testing again?

Whitesides: No, no regulatory constraint and we can continue operations in this COVID-19 environment.

Morgan Stanley: Does SAA with NASA change run-rate for capex/r&d in near term?

Whitesides: Not immediately

Morgan Stanley: How would you explain difference between you and Blue Origin?

Whitesides: The space tourism market is big enough for multiple companies but the technology we've chose is "fundamentally different," especially based on long term goals of Galactic vs. Blue.

Credit Suisse: What's the trend on deposits given the crisis?

Whitesides: I don't have that number off the top of my head but I wouldn't be surprised to see some impact.


You can follow @thesheetztweetz.



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