Boeing posts another quarter of losses, expects 2021 to be inflection point

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Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) continues to struggle under losses, although it expects this year to mark a significant turning point as plane orders have increased. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a bite out of demand for the company’s jetliners.

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Boeing Reports Sixth Straight Loss

Before the opening bell this morning, the planemaker posted adjusted losses of $1.53 per share, which was worse than the $1.16 in losses analysts had been expecting. However, it’s unclear if the two numbers are comparable. Boeing lost $1.70 per share in the year-ago quarter. Net losses amounted to $561 million for the first quarter.

According to CNBC, the company beat the estimate for sales, coming in at $15.22 billion, compared to the analyst projection of $15.02 billion. Boeing took a $318 million pretax charge in connection with problems with a supplier for its modified 747 plane used as Air Force One.

Commercial airplane revenue plunged 31% year over year to $4.27 billion, although Boeing delivered 77 new planes during the quarter, up from 50 a year ago. The company reiterated its plans to boost production of the 737 Max to 31 per month early next year and expects to deliver its first 777X wide-body jet in late 2023.

Boeing stock was down by about 3% in early trading after the earnings report was released.

Boeing Continues To Struggle

The planemaker has been reeling from the effects of the pandemic as travel and aircraft sales plunged. Additionally, Boeing’s best-selling 737 Max aircraft was grounded for an extended time following two deadly crashes that killed almost 350 people. Regulators started allowing the planes back in the air in November.

During the first quarter, Boeing took new orders from Southwest Airlines, United and other customers, which are returning to updating their fleets as they prepare for growth. Last month, Boeing’s orders for new aircraft outpaced cancellations for the first time since 2019.

The company resumed deliveries of its wide-body 787 planes last month following production issues last year. However, sales of the jets have been slow, as long-haul international travel is still down sharply due to the pandemic. CNBC said that in a presentation, Boeing pointed to COVID infection rates and the pace of vaccinations as potential risks to its business. It also talked about U.S.-China relations and the rest of the regulatory approvals for the 737 Max aircraft, like in China.