Virus and Grounded Plane Send Boeing into Second $2.4 Billion 2Q Loss

An American multinational plane manufacturer, Boeing is reporting a $2.4 billion loss for the second quarter due to the grounding of its 737 Max jet and the coronavirus pandemic.

The company on Wednesday said that revenue fell 25%, which is worse than analysts had expected.

Boeing CEO, David Calhoun said. “The reality is the pandemic’s impact on the aviation sector continues to be severe,” “This pressure on our commercial customers means they are delaying jet purchases, slowing deliveries, deferring elective maintenance, retiring older aircraft and reducing spend — all of which affects our business and, ultimately, our bottom line.”

Calhoun said it will take “around three years” to return to 2019 passenger levels. On Tuesday, an airline industry trade group IATA, said air travel won’t recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024, a year longer than its previous forecast. The International Air Transport Association cited the inability of the United States and developing countries to contain the coronavirus.

So far this year, Boeing deliveries of new airliners are down to 71%. Boeing recorded 59 orders but 382 cancellations, mostly for the Max. Another 323 orders, also mostly for Max planes, were removed from Boeing’s backlog because of uncertainty about the deals going through.

The pandemic has compounded problems that began with its 737 Max airliner, which remains grounded after two crashes killed 346 people.

The second quarter would have been worse for Boeing if not for its defense and space business, which depends on contracts with governments and has been largely insulated from the pandemic. Revenue in that business was flat with a year ago.

Still, the company has been forced to lay off thousands of workers, cut spending, suspend its dividend. It also issued $25 in new debt on the private market, which avoided the need to take coronavirus-relief money from the federal government this spring.

The $2.40 billion loss included more than $1.3 billion in write-downs for production slowdowns, severance payments and temporary closures because of virus outbreaks in Boeing factories. It compared with a loss of $2.94 billion in the same quarter last year, when Boeing took a $5.6 billion charge to cover compensation it owes airlines for the grounding of their Max jets.

The company reported a loss per share, after special items, of $4.79. The average forecast of 20 analysts in a FactSet survey was a loss of $2.57 per share.

Revenue fell to $11.81 billion, down from $15.75 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected $12.95 billion, according to FactSet.

Boeing shares were up more than 1% about an hour before the opening bell.


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