Boeing swings to a loss on defense unit trouble, but airplane deliveries pick up pace

An employee walks past a Boeing 737 Max aircraft seen parked at the Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Washington, January 10, 2020.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Boeing results topped analyst expectations Wednesday thanks to a pickup in commercial aircraft deliveries as the manufacturer increases production, but losses in its defense and space businesses drove the manufacturer into the red for the quarter.

The company generated $2.6 billion of free cash in the quarter, ahead of analyst forecasts, and reiterated its full-year guidance of between $3 billion and $5 billion of free cash flow.

Boeing shares were up more than 3% in premarket trading after releasing results.

Here’s how the company performed during the period ended June 30, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimates

  • Adjusted loss per share: 82 cents vs. 88 cents.
  • Revenue: $19.75 billion vs. $18.45 billion

Boeing and main rival Airbus have both struggled to increase aircraft production in the wake of the pandemic as some airlines face longer waits for new jets, just as travel demand rebounds.

The company delivered 136 planes in the second quarter, up from 121 aircraft during the same period last year.

Boeing said Wednesday that it is transitioning to higher production of its best-selling Max aircraft, at a pace of 38 jets a month, up from 31 a month — a plan it outlined earlier this year. Boeing reiterated its 737 delivery forecast of between 400 and 450 planes this year.

Boeing said it raised output of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft to a planned four per month and stuck with a plan to produce five a month by the end of the year. It expects to deliver as many as 80 of the wide-body planes in 2023.

Boeing earlier this year reported quality issues in both programs but has maintained delivery projections.

“With demand strong across our key markets, it is important that we stay focused on execution and on driving stability in our factories and supply chain to ensure we meet our customer commitments,” CEO Dave Calhoun said in a message to employees on Wednesday.

Boeing’s second-quarter revenue jumped 18% from a year ago to $19.75 billion, but the company still reported a net loss of $149 million, or 25 cents per share. That compares with a profit of $160 million, or 32 cents per share, a year ago, with the most recent quarter’s results weighed down by charges in Boeing’s defense and space units.

On an adjusted basis, the company reported a loss of $390 million, or 82 cents per share.

Boeing’s defense, space and security unit reported a loss of $527 million for the quarter, down from a profit a year ago.

The company said it took a $257 million loss on a launch delay of its crewed Starliner spacecraft, a $189 loss due to higher production costs on its T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet and a $68 million loss on production delays on its MQ-25 program.

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