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Boeing’s Earnings Were Supposed to Get Better. They Got Worse.

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Boeing investors have to go back to the first quarter of 2018 to find a quarter unaffected by the pandemic or the 737 MAX.

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Commercial aerospace and defense giant


Boeing

reported first-quarter earnings that missed forecasts. Shares were falling.


Boeing

(ticker: BA) reported a loss of $2.75 a share from $14 billion in sales on Wednesday.

Wall Street was looking for a loss of about 15 cents a share from $15.9 billion in sales. A year ago, in the first quarter of 2021, Boeing reported a per-share loss of $1.53 from $15.2 billion in sales.

“It just got worse,” wrote Vertical Research Partners analyst Rob Stallard in a Wednesday report after the earnings. Defense and space sales were below his forecast and there is still no earnings guidance for investors to reference.

“This was another dreadful quarter from Boeing. And what we think will really worry investors is that we keep getting MORE bad news,” added Stallard.

Investors have to go back to the first quarter of 2018 to find a first quarter unaffected by the pandemic or the 737 MAX, when the jet was grounded worldwide between March 2019 and November 2020 after two crashes. Back then, Boeing earned about $3.64 a share from $23.4 billion in sales.

Boeing stock was down 4.1% in premarket trading.

S&P 500
and

Dow Jones Industrial Average
futures were up 1% and 1.1%, respectively, bouncing back from Tuesday’s weak results when the S&P 500 fell 2.8% and the Dow dropped 2.4%.

It looks like another tough quarter for the company.

Boeing delivered 95 commercial jets in the first quarter of 2022. That’s up from 77 jets delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Back in the first quarter of 2018, Boeing delivered 218 commercial jets.

Boeing burned through $3.6 billion in cash during the quarter. Wall Street was looking for cash burn or about $3 billion. A year ago, in the first quarter of 2021, Boeing burned through about $3.7 billion.

Over the past 12 quarters, stretching back to just after the second tragic MAX crash, Boeing has lost about $24 billion and burned through about $34 billion in cash flow.

“While the first quarter of 2022 brought new challenges for our world, industry and business, I am proud of our team and the steady progress we’re making toward our key commitments,” said CEO Dave Calhoun in the company’s news release. “We increased 737 MAX production and deliveries and made important progress on the 787 by submitting our certification plan to the FAA.”

The MAX jet was grounded worldwide between March 2019 and November 2020 following two deadly crashed inside of five months. Boeing has been delivering its backlog of MAX jets built during the grounding as well as ramping production back up. Boeing is also not delivering 787 jets now after the some production quality issues discovered by the FAA.

Over the 12-quarter span, Boeing has missed analysts’ estimates nine times. Including premarket trading Wednesday, the stock has dropped eight times following results.

It’s been an incredibly difficult period for Wall Street to forecast results. And based on the stock-price reactions of recent quarters investors didn’t have a good idea about what to expect either.

Options markets implied Boeing stock will move about 6%, up or down, following earnings. The stock has moved about 3%, up or down, following the past four quarterly reports. Boeing stock has fallen three times following the past four reports and risen once. The stock has dropped on every miss and risen on an earnings beat.

The company hosts a conference call at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday to discuss the results. Analysts and investors will want an update about many issues, including MAX deliveries, other jet programs beside the MAX, the global air travel recovery from Covid, and the impact of inflation and rising interest rates.

Coming into Wednesday trading, Boeing stock has declined 17% year to date, worse than the 12% and 8% respective moves in the S&P 500 and Dow.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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