Jeff Bezos Still in the Game: Blue Origin and Amazon Shares Fly
By CCN.com: You might think after all the press attention over his divorce, Jeff Bezos might be looking for a quieter 2019. Not so, he’s been spotted stepping out with his mistress Lauren Sanchez. And, with so many big buck projects on the go, it’s not like he’s going to be able to hide away.
Though some were concerned that the Bezos divorce could hit Amazon shareholders too, Amazon stocks are up across the last month and rising. Fears of the CEO needing to sell off some of his own stock, impacting the markets, haven’t found root with investors as yet.
Blue Origin Celebrates 10th Successful Test Flight Carrying NASA Experiments
The hydrogen-fueled “New Shepard” rocket flew for 10 minutes above Texas carrying NASA microgravity experiments. The latest test flight was a month late due to technical issues and recent weather restrictions. It hit a target altitude of 66.4 miles, above the 50-mile-altitude boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and space.
“I just want to ask you guys, while you’re doing all this tomorrow, to take a moment and not forget to reflect on the meaning and the beauty of what you’re doing.” https://t.co/xyH4ondi4z pic.twitter.com/lUcq8mVNsN
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) January 23, 2019
Manned flights of the New Shepard, built to carry up to six tourists or researchers, are expected later this year. Blue Origin’s head of astronaut strategy and sales Ariane Cornell says:
I would jump on top of that rocket tomorrow.
Blue Origin is focused, she adds, on “testing New Shepard through and through” so:
We’re not selling tickets yet. We have not selected a price yet, despite what you might have read. … We haven’t determined when we’re going to sell tickets.
The rocket has so far performed well in all tests, with just one booster problem in the first flight. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo also completed a first test flight out of the earth’s atmosphere last month.
Both companies are expected to charge around $200,000 per flight for “space tourists” when they finally happen.
Bezos himself plowed $500 million into Blue Origin by 2014. He continued to privately fund most of the project through to 2017 without revealing by how much. Since April 2017 Bezos has sold $1 billion in Amazon stock each year to finance the ambitious space project. By 2013 NASA contracts had already generated $25 million in funding.
Amazon Shares Flying Higher in 2019
Amazon’s share price has risen 0.48% today against a wider Nasdaq that’s risen 1.59% overall. For the last month, Amazon’s stock has lifted by 20%, rebounding from December lows.
Confidence is also still high amongst analysts for Amazon stock. CNN polling of 48, find 42 analysts giving Amazon shares a “buy” rating.
Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2018 are expected to reach $5.53. The company’s revenue is expected to be higher than any other quarter of 2018 at $72 billion.
The e-commerce titan also announced today that it would begin deliveries in Washington using a “sidewalk” robot, the Amazon Scout.
Both Bezos and Sanchez were reportedly due to be at the New Shepard launch. Making it the first official public appearance since news of the Bezos divorce and the Sanchez relationship. They are also expected to attend the Oscars together on February 24.
Legal experts told Business Insider earlier this month that the Bezos divorce will likely not result in shares needing to be liquidated by the ex-couple. MacKenzie Bezos is expected to have some restrictions on any of her shares post-divorce to prevent a sudden sell-off.
It looks like a busy year ahead for Jeff Bezos, but business as normal.
Featured Image from Jim WATSON / AFP. Stock Charts from TradingView.