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: Virgin Orbit’s stock rockets on announcement of plans to restart operations this week

Shares of Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc. skyrocketed toward a record one-day gain in very active trading Wednesday, after the launch and space-solutions company announced plans to restart operations this week.

The company said it would start work Thursday, March 23, on preparations for its next mission, with a further resumption of operations planned for March 27.

The stock shot up 47.8% in midday trading, putting it on track to surpass the previous record gain of 31.3% on Jan. 11, 2022. Trading volume soared to 46.7 million shares, compared with the full-day average over the past 30 days of about 749,000 shares.

The rally would snap a six-day losing streak in which the stock had plummeted 60.4%, to close Tuesday at a record low of 44 cents. That selloff was highlighted by the 29.7% plunge on March 16, after the company said it would pause operations to conserve capital while it held discussions with potential funding sources and as it explored strategic opportunities.

Also read: Virgin Orbit’s stock plunges after failed attempt to reach orbit from the U.K.

On Wednesday, the company indicated those discussions were ongoing but said there could be no assurance that the discussions would result in a transaction.

“The company does not currently intend to disclose further developments with respect to these discussions, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or other course of action requiring disclosure,” Virgin Orbit said in a statement.

Virgin Orbit had operated under the name Vieco USA Inc. until it went public in December 2021 following a merger with special-purpose acquisition company NextGen Acquisition Corp. II. When the merger was announced in August 2021, Virgin Orbit was valued at about $3.2 billion.

Since the deal closed, the stock has lost 93% of its value, leaving the company with a market capitalization of $221.5 million. The ARK Space Exploration & Innovation exchange-traded fund

has dropped 28.3% over the same period, while the S&P 500

has lost 16.4%.

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