Boeing reports quarterly loss as labor and supply tensions overshadow growth in demand for jets

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An AirBridgeCargo Boeing 747-8F takes off from Leipzig/Halle Airport.

Jan Woitas | Photo Alliance | Getty Images

Boeing reported a $663 million loss for the fourth quarter as supply chain issues weighed on results despite an uptick in aircraft sales and deliveries that boosted revenue.

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have benefited from a strong recovery in air travel, one of the industries most affected by the Covid pandemic. But Boeing leaders are hesitant to ramp up aircraft production until the supply chain has stabilized.

The company produces 31 of its 737 jets per month and plans to increase that to about 50 per month in 2025 or 2026. It said it would increase the low production rate of the 787 Dreamliners to five per month by the end of the year and up to 10 per month in 2025 or 2026. Deliveries of those widebody aircraft were interrupted for about two years until this summer due to manufacturing defects.

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For the full year, Boeing suffered a loss of $5 billion, despite a 7% increase in revenue to $66.6 billion.

Here’s how the company performed in the fourth quarter compared to analyst estimates followed by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted loss per share: $1.75 versus expected earnings per share of 26 cents.
  • Gain: $19.98 billion versus $20.38 billion expected.

Boeing generated $3.1 billion in cash flow in the fourth quarter, more than analysts had predicted, and $2.3 billion for the year, the highest since 2018, before the second of two deadly 737 Max crashes that sparked a years-long crisis. caused for the company.

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The commercial aircraft unit generated revenue of $9.2 billion in the fourth quarter, up 94% from a year earlier as deliveries increased, but it still recorded a loss due to abnormal costs and other expenses such as research and development, the company said.

Boeing reiterated its expectation of generating between $3 billion and $5 billion in free cash flow this year.

“We are proud of how we closed 2022, and despite the hurdles ahead, we are confident in our path ahead,” CEO Dave Calhoun said in a memo to employees on Wednesday. “We have a robust pipeline of development programs, we are innovating for the future and we are increasing investments to prepare for our next generation of products.”

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