A Boeing 737 MAX 10 jetliner pauses while taxiing on the flight line before its first flight at Renton Municipal Airport June 18, 2021 in Renton, Washington.
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images
Boeing reported a quarterly loss of $3.3 billion on Wednesday as problems at its defense unit thwarted progress in its commercial aircraft business.
The manufacturer, however, generated nearly $3 billion in free cash flow in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from cash outflows of $507 million a year earlier. Boeing reiterated its expectation of achieving positive free cash flow for the year.
Here’s how Boeing fared in the third quarter against analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted loss per share: $6.18 against expected earnings per share of 7 cents.
- Revenue: $15.96 billion vs $17.76 billion expected.
Shares of the company were down about 1% in premarket trading.
Boeing reported losses of $2.8 billion in its defense unit on programs such as the KC-46 tanker and Air Force One. The company previously disclosed losses of more than a billion dollars associated with the modification of two 747 jumbo jets to serve as Air Force One, a contract negotiated under former President Donald Trump.
“We are fully focused on maturing these programs, mitigating risk and delivering on our customers and their important missions,” Boeing CEO David Calhoun said in an employee note Wednesday.
Problems in the defense unit have piled up as Boeing’s business unit recovers from the pandemic, spurred by a rebound in air travel.
Boeing’s business unit revenue rose 40% from a year ago to $6.26 billion. It delivered 112 planes in the third quarter, up from 85 a year earlier. Deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner resumed in August after pausing for much of the previous two years to fix a series of manufacturing flaws.
Alaska Airlines On Wednesday, it announced it would exercise options to buy 52 Boeing 737 Max jets from its fleet and rights to another 105 of them through 2030. The Seattle-based airline said the order was the most important part of its 90-year history and that new aircraft will be used to replace older aircraft and for growth.
“We are realistic about the environment we face and are taking comprehensive action,” Calhoun wrote to staff on Wednesday. “In our production facilities, we don’t push the system too fast. We slow down when necessary and work hard to make sure the job is completed in order.”
Boeing has struggled to stabilize after two crashes of its 737 Max, one nearly four years ago in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia five months later, a crisis that grounded jets around the world.
The manufacturer is now trying to obtain federal approval for new versions of this plane, the 737 Max 7 and 10, the smallest and largest of the family. But Boeing faces a year-end deadline to do so without adding additional warning systems for pilots, under new legislation passed in the wake of the crashes.
Boeing executives will discuss the results in a call Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET with analysts, where the company will likely face questions about potential increases in production of commercial jets and its latest schedule on the certification of new versions of Max.
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