Boeing reports loss as 787 charges mount



  • Dreamliner weighs on plane maker’s results as it compensates customers after prolonged halt in jet deliveries

Boeing Co. said production problems and delivery delays with its 787 Dreamliner jet would cost it another $4.5 billion as the plane maker reported its third annual loss in a row.

Boeing on Wednesday reported a loss of $4.3 billion for 2021 after a $4.16 billion deficit in the final quarter, following a year when it slowly increased production of new jets but struggled to deliver them.

A series of factory defects and regulatory snags has largely prevented Boeing from handing over the popular wide-body Dreamliner to customers for more than a year.

The latest charge includes $3.5 billion to compensate customers for the delays, with abnormal production costs now forecast to double to $2 billion as Boeing slowed output.

Boeing said it stopped bleeding cash in the latest quarter for the first time since the first three months of 2019, when air-safety regulators world-wide grounded the 737 MAX after two fatal crashes.

The company’s shares were flat in premarket trading, reversing an earlier gain before the results were released.

Boeing reported a loss of $7.02 per share in the fourth quarter, compared with the consensus estimate for a 36-cent deficit among analysts polled by FactSet. Sales fell 3% to $14.8 billion.

The return to positive cash flow was driven by deliveries of the narrow-body jets, which began returning to service in late 2020.

Boeing also took another $402 million charge on its KC-46A tanker jet.

Chief Executive David Calhoun said in an internal memo the cash generation was “another key step in our overall recovery."

Deliveries of the Dreamliner aren’t expected to resume until April at the earliest. The delays have prompted airlines to shuffle their fleet plans or in some cases reduce flight schedules. Boeing is awaiting regulatory approval for pre-delivery inspections.

“While we never want to disappoint our customers or miss expectations, the work we’re putting in now will build stability and predictability going forward," Mr. Calhoun said in his internal memo.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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