Failure To Launch

After several months of failing to secure funding, Virgin Orbit has confirmed that its last-ditch effort to team up with investor Matthew Brown has failed. ❌

The satellite launching company had furloughed its roughly 750 employees on March 15th as it looked to secure funding. Last week, it slowly brought back some of its 750 employees as funding prospects improved. However, executives announced today that they’re ceasing operations “for the foreseeable future” and will lay off 90% of their workforce. 🛑

Virgin Orbit was spun out of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galatic in 2017, with him maintaining 75% ownership. The company’s system of using a modified 747 jet to send satellites into space was met with much optimism. However, the challenging funding environment caused the company to raise less money than expected via its SPAC merger in 2021. And operational issues, including a mid-flight failure of its last launch, have investors doubting the company’s long-term viability.

With its largest shareholder unwilling to provide more funding and its stock plummeting to fresh all-time lows, it’s running out of options. So it recently hired bankruptcy firms to pull together contingency plans if it cannot find a buyer or investor. 📝

Overall though, it appears the shareholders and outside debt holders will be hurt the most. Richard Branson has first priority over the company’s assets. And the Board of Directors recently approved a “golden parachute” severance plan for the company’s top executives in the event they’re terminated.

As with many revolutionary ideas, they don’t always pan out. The idea will likely live into the future, but probably not in its current form. So we’ll have to wait and see whether the company’s prospects change in the coming days. 🤷

In the meantime, $VORB shares hit fresh all-time lows on the news. 💥

Nvidia Joins The Trillion $ Club

Until today, only six U.S.-listed companies had reached a market capitalization of $1 trillion or more at one point in their history. And one abroad, Saudi Aramco. However, the recent hype over artificial intelligence (AI) helped propel retail investor favorite Nvidia onto that list…at least intraday. 🤩

The chart below shows it is joining the ranks of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, which are still above $1 trillion. And Tesla and Meta, which briefly surpassed that mark in 2021 but have since fallen from grace. 👇

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A Bank On The Brink

Ever since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), First Republic Bank has been investors’ next major worry.

For those not caught up on the regional bank’s journey, the chart below highlights some key moments over the last two months. 👇

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It’s 2008 Again For This Stock

There’s no shortage of interesting charts or data out there. But this morning, our scan of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 brought up DISH Network Corporation. And once we pulled up its long-term chart, we realized we’d been teleported back over a decade. 🕰️

The American television provider and owner of direct-broadcast satellite provider Dish is trading back at its 2008 lows. The mid-cap ($4.6 billion) stock has seen better days, falling roughly 90% from its all-time highs in 2015. 📡

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News From The Newsroom

Well, it was a busy day in the media industry, with several popular news anchors getting the axe. Let’s see what happened and how it moved markets. 👀

First up, Fox News announced that it is parting ways with Tucker Carlson and that his last program aired on Friday. This came as a shock because “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has been one of the network’s top-rated programs.

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