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Boeing Reports Operating Profit for Third Quarter

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Boeing Co. today reported an operating profit for the third quarter as commercial aircraft deliveries improved. The company posted an overall loss on one-time costs.

Chicago-based Boeing said its quarterly operating profit totaled $329 million compared with a year-earlier loss of $401 million. Revenue for the quarter increased 8 percent compared with a year earlier to $15.3 billion.

Boeing’s one-time costs included $185 million caused by a delay in the company’s Starliner program. An uncrewed flight is not expected until 2022.

Boeing also recorded $183 million in costs during the quarter for its problem-plagued 787 Dreamliner. Boeing estimates there will be $1 billion in “abnormal costs” with the aircraft over time.

The company’s net loss for the third quarter totaled $132 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $466 million, or 79 cents, for the same period in 2020. Boeing’s “core” earnings amounted to a loss of 60 cents a share for the quarter compared with $1.39 a year earlier.

Boeing said its commercial airline deliveries more than tripled compared with last year’s third quarter. The company delivered 85 commercial jets during that time. That included 62 737 Max planes, the most deliveries of that aircraft since the first quarter of 2019.

The 737 Max is a key product for Boeing. It has returned to service since being grounded because of two fatal crashes. Boeing made software changes to the aircraft to address issues identified as a factor in the crashes.

“Our recovery is taking hold,” CEO David Calhoun said in a letter to employees. “Our commercial market is showing improved signs of recovery.”

Besides problems with the 737 Max, the commercial aircraft market was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID caused airlines to cancel orders amid decreased demand for air travel. Demand has been recovering this year.

For the first nine months of 2021, Boeing posted a net loss of $126 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $3.5 billion, or $6.10, for the same period last year.

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