Boeing shares down slightly on 787, Starliner costs
28 October, 2021, 8:10 pm
Boeing Co (BA.N) reported a quarterly net loss after fresh charges on its problem-plagued 787 and Starliner spacecraft programs, masking a small underlying profit as air travel recovers from the pandemic.
The 737 MAX and 787 are integral to Boeing’s ability to rebound from the pandemic and a safety scandal caused by two fatal crashes, while its Starliner has fallen behind dominating space rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
“We have a clear line of sight to the steps ahead” on resuming 787 deliveries, Calhoun told analysts on a conference call but gave no specific timeline pending regulatory approvals.
It has twice halted 787 deliveries, with the latest stoppage ongoing since May and resulting in an inventory of more than 100 jets worth $9 billion cash. read more
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has ferried astronauts and supplies to orbit four times.
Boeing delivered 62 of its 737s in the quarter, with some 370 of its 737 MAX jets in inventory, a third of which were for customers in China, executives said.
On the prospect of ramping to 50 or more jets monthly, Calhoun said, “The wild card in this one isn’t demand. It’s all about the supply chain. Whether it’s two, three or four years, I’m not sure. I do think we get there.”
Rival Airbus SE (AIR.PA) is charging forward with planned production increases to a record 64 per month by second-quarter 2023, with possible further increases beyond that. Its plans have produced a backlash from suppliers and leasing companies.
Calhoun struck a cautious note, telling analysts the whole industry would face narrowbody supply constraints from the second half of 2022 and lasting through 2023.
On forthcoming jets, Boeing began engine performance flight tests earlier this month on its already years-delayed 777X mini-jumbo, and still expects a first delivery in late 2023, and is evaluating the launch timing of a freighter version, Calhoun said.
An adjusted loss of 60 cents per share compared with analysts’ average estimate of 20 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.