Boeing posts Q3 loss as problems dog airliner, space capsule

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Boeing is reporting a loss of more than $100 million for the third quarter due to charges for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft and Starliner space capsule

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Boeing Co. on Wednesday reported a third-quarter loss as it struggled to fix problems with its 787 Dreamliner airliner plane and a space capsule designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Boeing said it suffered a loss of $132 million, of which $109 million was attributable to shareholders.

Right away, however, Boeing faces greater uncertainty about key programs.

The company has a large number of parked 787 and 737 MAX jets. It has not delivered any 787s in several months due to a series of production defects, including shoddy titanium parts.

CEO David Calhoun said he could not say when 787 deliveries would resume. “Unless I’m certain, I can’t give you certainty,” he told analysts during a conference call. “We’re halfway through.”

Calhoun said the company would fix problems on the 787, a larger plane designed for long international flights, in the same way it brought back the Max after two fatal crashes and a worldwide grounding – with improvements to the aircraft. By working with regulators to obtain approval for . In Max’s case, that process took 18 months.

By the time those deliveries are put on hold, Boeing is losing a major source of cash.

Boeing has cut production of the 787, forcing the company to charge $183 million in the third quarter. It hopes to eventually absorb the $1 billion in “unusual costs” on the aircraft.

Boeing also charged $185 million in the third quarter for its troubled Starliner space capsule. An unmanned test flight in 2019 failed to achieve the correct orbit, and the second flight was aborted in August due to problems with valves in the propulsion system. NASA and Boeing plan to try another launch next year.

Even though Boeing has resumed deliveries of the 737 MAX — and secured some major new orders for the plane — it’s still trying to narrow down an inventory of 370 of them, which are available at various locations around the country. standing in places.

China was Boeing’s biggest market for the Max before the crashes, and the company is still waiting for regulators there to allow the plane to fly again. If that approval doesn’t come in the next six to 12 months, the company will have to scale back plans to boost Max production, Calhoun said.

Boeing is currently building 19 MAX jets a month at a plant near Seattle, and aims to increase that to 31 months early next year, a goal that Cowen Aerospace analyst Kai von Rumohr called “ambitious”. .

The third-quarter results compared a loss of $449 million in the same period last year, when demand for new aircraft fell due to the pandemic.

The most recent loss amounted to 19 cents per share, but the loss was wider at 60 cents per share excluding special items. Wall Street was expecting an adjusted loss of 20 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey of 16 analysts.

Von Rumohr called it the deck-clearing quarter. He said in a note to customers, while the main loss was wider than expected, the cash outflow was not as bad as had been feared.

Boeing’s commercial airline business posted an operating loss of $693 million, while revenue rose 24% to $4.46 billion. Boeing delivered 85 jets in the quarter, mostly to Max, airlines and other customers, up from 28 a year ago.

The company’s Defense and Space Departments made $436 million and its service wing made $644 million, providing a sense of stability during all the turmoil in the commercial-airplane business.

Boeing’s total revenue was $15.28 billion, well below analysts’ forecast of $16.70 billion. Two years ago, before the pandemic, quarterly revenue was $19.98 billion.

Shares of the company fell 1.5% to close at $206.61.


David Koenig can be reached at


This story has been updated to correct that Boeing’s loss was $132 million, which included damages attributable to non-controlling interests, not $132.


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