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Virgin Galactic test flight sets share price soaring

In today’s top stories, its first test flight in more than a year has driven up Virgin Galactic’s share price. Elsewhere, Bitcoin rose 11% in 24 hours on rumours that the US SEC may not come down as heavily as feared. A holding lot fire has halted production of Ford’s F-150 Lightning truck, while Tesla’s Model Y has sold out for the quarter. In more tech news, the Roblox share price has climbed on the back of an earnings beat and user growth, while Shopify’s share price has dropped – despite its own earnings beat.

Virgin Galactic test flight sets share price soaring

Virgin Galactic’s [SPCE] share price gained 10% on Wednesday, following its first test flight in more than a year. The rally brought the shares up 72.7% in the year so far, as of Thursday. Richard Branson’s company had been due to conduct tests in January. Wells Fargo analysts called the test flight from Mojave, California, “an important milestone toward its planned customer service launch in Q2”.

Regulatory relief sends Bitcoin up 11%

Bitcoin rose 11% in 24 hours on news that oversight from the US Securities and Exchange Commission may not be as heavy-handed as feared. The regulator has been circling in recent weeks, with Binance expecting to pay fines to settle compliance investigations. Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, reiterated previous calls for a ban on crypto on Wednesday.

Fire halts Ford F-150 Lightning production

Ford [F] has attributed a production halt of its F-150 Lightning truck this week to a fire in a pre-delivery quality check holding lot, saying that 150 Lightnings already in customers’ hands were unlikely to be affected. Elsewhere, Renault could partner with AutoNation to boost US sales of Alpine sports cars, while Tesla’s [TSLA] Model Y has sold out for the quarter.

Roblox share price gains on user growth

The Roblox [RBLX] share price gained 26% on Wednesday following an earnings beat and 19% year-over-year growth in reported user numbers. Losses of $0.48 per share beat the $0.52 that analysts had expected, with revenues coming in 2% above expectations. Users spent a combined 12.8 billion hours on Roblox during Q4. Nevertheless, its market cap remains 66% down from its high of nearly $80bn in 2021.

Shopify sales growth underwhelms investors

Increased competition from Amazon [AMZN] and slowing revenue growth forecasts pushed Shopify’s [SHOP] share price down almost 7% on Wednesday despite beating earnings expectations. Analysts projected $1.5bn in sales for the next quarter, implying 23% growth, but Shopify’s guidance anticipated growth “in the high-teen percentages”. Meanwhile, Amazon plans to cut ties with some EU distributors in order to reduce its costs.

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