At a time when a pandemic has spread around the globe, investors might want to look into space and toward the future. This century’s new space race is providing opportunities for investors, with commercial ventures ranging from revisiting the moon to transporting tourists into space. Spending on space ventures is expected to triple to $1.1 trillion by 2040.
To invest: Focus on stocks of small and medium-size companies launching space ventures. They’ve suffered big initial losses but offer great potential for aggressive investors. Although Elon Musk’s Space X launched two NASA astronauts into orbit in May, it is not a publicly traded stock. But its success has helped lift stocks of other space-oriented companies.
Maxar Technologies (MAXR) operates high-resolution Earth-imaging satellites that provide much of the imagery for Google Maps and the US Defense Department. It posted a $48 million loss in the first quarter of 2020, but it has a $1.7 billion backlog of orders and expects that to continue to grow. It has a NASA contract to help build the Gateway, a human outpost slated to start orbiting the moon in the next few years. The stock price rose 128% over the past year through June 15, 2020. Recent share price: $15.31.
Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE), backed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, has attracted more than 400 deposits for 90-minute space flights costing more than $250,000 each. It has had losses totaling more than $400 million but expects to be profitable in 2021. Commercial flights, which were slated to begin this year but may be pushed back, will feature individual oxygen hoods to protect passengers from coronavirus. Since the company went public in October 2019, the stock price rose 30% as of June 15, 2020. Recent share price: $15.32.