Boeing suffered US $ 561 million – or the US $ 537 million for losses due to the uncontrolled coronavirus epidemic continued to hurt demand for new aircraft.
The Boeing Company on Wednesday made a comprehensive report expecting first-quarter losses, though revenue came from Wall Street forecasts as the company generated cash by distributing more new airliners than a year earlier.
After the quarter ended, Boeing suffered a new setback with its 737 MAX jetliners, over 100 of which have now been re-parked due to electrical grounding issues of some parts.
CEO David Calhoun said the epidemic continues to challenge the market for aircraft, but said the company sees 2021 as a turning point, with vaccines dispensing against taking COVID-19. He said Boeing’s defense and space business is providing stability for the company.
Excluding charges related to the construction of one-time items such as the next Air Force One presidential jet, Boeing’s loss was US $ 1.53 per share. Analysts expected a loss of 97 cents per share, according to the FactSet survey.
The loss was less than US $ 628 million, Boeing reported a year earlier when the epidemic was just beginning to hit the airline industry. In the first quarter of pre-pandemic 2019, the company earned US $ 2.15 billion on revenue of US $ 22.92 billion. Analysts estimate that revenue fell 10% from US $ 15.22 billion a year earlier to about US $ 15.23 billion.
Boeing generated the cash when regulators in the US and other countries allowed the company to resume delivery of the 737 Max Jet, which had been grounded for almost two years after two accidents that killed 346 people. Boeing delivered 77 commercial aircraft this quarter, up from 50 in the same period last year, although revenue from those sales dropped.
Boeing accounted for nearly half of the company’s defense and space business in revenue, and it made a profit as revenue climbed 19 percent.
Lacking big unpleasant surprises in Wednesday’s report, Boeing has sometimes dropped on investors, including three months earlier when it announced another delay in its latest aircraft, the 777X. The resumption of 737 MAX deliveries has helped Boeing’s cash flow, but the epidemic is still disappointing orders for new aircraft.
Last week, as the company met with shareholders online, it announced that the board had raised CEO Calhoun’s retirement age from 65 to 70, meaning he would not be forced to step down next April. . At the same time, Boeing said that Greg Smith, the 54-year-old chief financial officer, will retire in July, a move that caught the Wall Street off-guard. Analysts speculated that Smith closed his path to the top job during Calhoun’s extended tenure.