Boeing posts bigger-than-expected loss in the 1st quarter

The Chicago-based company lost $1.2 billion as it took large write-downs and lost money in both its commercial airplane and defense businesses.

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The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Boeing reported a money-losing quarter as both its commercial airplane division and the defense business are struggling.

Richard Drew/AP file

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter as it took large write-downs and lost money in both its civilian airplane and defense businesses.

The loss was bigger than Wall Street had forecast, and the company’s quarterly revenue also fell short of expectations.

Chicago-based Boeing offered some optimism for improvement, however, saying that it has submitted plans to resume deliveries of its 787 airliner and it increased production and deliveries of the 737 Max passenger jet during the quarter.

CEO David Calhoun said the company was on track to generate positive cash flow over the entire year “despite the pressures on our defense and commercial development programs.”

The quarterly report brought disappointing news for shareholders on several Boeing programs.

The company pushed back the expected first delivery of the 777-9, a new variant of Boeing’s long-range, twin-aisle passenger jet, until 2025 – a move that was widely expected. The delay caused Boeing to forecast $1.5 billion in “abnormal” production costs.

Boeing took a $660 million charge for its program to build new presidential Air Force One jets, which it blamed on higher supplier costs, final technical requirements and schedule delays. It also took $367 million in charges on a military training jet.

Boeing said it submitted plans to the Federal Aviation Administration to resume deliveries of the 787 passenger jet. Those deliveries have been halted for more than a year by production issues which Boeing previously said would add about $2 billion in costs, of which $312 million was recorded in the first quarter.

Boeing expects to boost production of the 737 Max to 31 planes a month in the current quarter, which runs through June. That plane was grounded worldwide for nearly two years after two deadly crashes.

And Boeing took $212 million in pretax charges related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company did not immediately explain the write-down.

In a memo to employees, Calhoun said Boeing is taking steps to improve long-term performance.

“We are a long-cycle business, and the success of our efforts will be measured over years and decades, not quarters,” he said.

Boeing’s commercial-airplanes division lost $859 billion, hobbled by the inability to deliver 787 jets while Boeing tries to fix production flaws on the twin-aisle plane.

The defense business, long a bulwark against volatility in aircraft sales to airlines, lost $929 million as revenue fell 24%.

The company reported a loss attributable to shareholders of $1.22 billion, compared with a loss of $537 million a year earlier. The “core” loss was $2.75 a share on revenue of $13.99 billion. Analysts expected a loss of 25 cents per share on revenue of $16.02 billion, according to a FactSet survey.

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