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Boeing Posts Quarterly Loss on Pandemic

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Boeing Co. today reported a second-quarter loss of $2.4 billion as revenue plunged because of plant shutdowns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and commercial aircraft deliveries evaporated.

Boeing’s per-share loss was $4.20. On an adjusted basis, the per-share loss was $4.79, worse than analyst estimates of $2.54, according to CNBC. Revenue for the quarter slid 25 percent from a year earlier to $11.8 billion.

The aircraft maker delivered only 20 commercial planes during the quarter, down from 90 a year earlier. Boeing airline customers incurred losses as COVID-19 cut demand for flights.

Even before COVID-19, Boeing’s finances had been slammed by the March 2019 grounding of the 737 Max following two fatal crashes. The grounding exposed problems with the aircraft and the company replaced its CEO in December.

Production of the 737 Max resumed in May. Boeing said today that output would be at low levels for the rest of 2020. The company is seeking regulatory approval to return the 737 Max to service. Boeing also said it’s slowing the production rate of the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing is taking “tough but necessary steps to adapt for new market realities,” CEO David Calhoun said in a statement.

The company said in April it is cutting about 10 percent of its jobs through layoffs, buyouts and attrition. The first wave of layoffs took place in May. Calhoun said in a separate message to employees that managers will be communicating details of the latest job cuts today.

“Regretfully, the prolonged impact of COVID-19 causing further reductions in our production rates and lower demand for commercial services means we’ll have to further assess the size of our workforce,” Calhoun said in his message to employees. “This is difficult news, and I know it adds uncertainty during an already challenging time.”

For the first half of 2020, Boeing posted a loss of $3.04 billion, or $5.31 a share. Revenue slid 26 percent to $28.7 billion.

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