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Virgin Orbit stock crashes as Richard Branson’s satellite company ceases operations ‘for the foreseeable future’

Richard Branson at Virgin OrbitVirgin Orbit founder Richard Branson.

Virgin Orbit

  • Virgin Orbit stock plunged Friday after the company said it’s cutting nearly all of its staff. 
  • The satellite-launching company founded by Richard Branson is ceasing operations for the “foreseeable future.” 
  • The company hasn’t been able to land the funding needed to keep running. 

Virgin Orbit shares sank to record lows Friday after the satellite-launching company founded by Richard Branson slashed the size of its workforce as it halts operations.  

The company on Thursday said it’s cutting 675 employees, or about 85% of its staff, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Shares raced down 42% to $0.1945 early Friday with more than 11 million shares traded. The stock on Thursday dropped 16% to $0.3401 after the workforce notification. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to secure the funding to provide a clear path for this company,” Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart told employees, according to audio from a Thursday companywide meeting obtained by CNBC. 

Virgin Orbit, which positioned itself to serve the small-satellite industry, will cease operations “for the foreseeable future,” Hart said. 

Virgin Orbit in January launched its first rocket out of the United Kingdom, but it failed to reach orbit. 

In January 2021, its LauncherOne rocket successfully reached Earth’s orbit, and the company had said its next step was using the rocket for commercial services.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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