Boeing posts $109 million Q3 loss amid jet production issues


Boeing Co. lost $109 million in the third quarter as it struggled with production problems that have blocked deliveries of the 787, a large plane popular on international airline routes.

Boeing said Wednesday it is building about two 787s a months and expects to stay at that low rate until deliveries resume. Problems including fuselage flaws are expected to cause $1 billion in “abnormal costs,” the company said, including a $183 million charge recorded in the third quarter.

The company also took a $185 million charge for its troubled Starliner space capsule. The company plans to try to launch the capsule in another test flight next year.

The Chicago-based company offered a hopeful outlook for aircraft sales, saying that the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19 and easing of global travel restrictions will boost demand for planes.

Boeing delivered 85 jets to airlines and other customers in the quarter, up from 28 a year earlier. Deliveries are a crucial source of cash.

The $109 million loss attributable to shareholders compared with a loss of $449 million in the same quarter last year, when the pandemic caused demand for new planes to collapse.

The most recent loss amounted to 19 cents per share, but the loss excluding special items was wider, at 60 cents per share. Wall Street expected an adjusted loss of 20 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey of 16 analysts.

The commercial airline business suffered an operating loss of $693 million even as revenue rose 24% to $4.46 billion. The company’s defense and space division earned $436 million and its services wing earned $644 million, providing a sense of stability during all the turmoil in the commercial-airplanes business.

Boeing’s total revenue was $15.28 billion, far short of the $16.70 billion forecast by analysts. Two years earlier, before the pandemic, quarterly revenue was $19.98 billion.

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