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Boeing Stock Slides On Massive Q4 Loss, Books $3.5 Billion in Charges Linked to 787 Dreamliner Delays

Boeing booked $3.5 billion in charges linked to its troubled 787 Dreamliner, sending the planemaker into a massive Q4 loss of $7.69 per share.

Updated at 12:37 pm EST

Boeing  (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report posted a massive fourth quarter loss Wednesday, and declined to provide 2022 profit guidance, following billions in charges linked to its delayed 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Boeing said its adjusted core loss for the three months ending in December was pegged at $7.69 per share, down from a loss of $4.19 per share over the same period last year as the planemaker booked a new $3.5 billion charge linked to delays in production and delivery of its 787 widebody. The Street consensus forecast was looking for a loss of 42 cent per share. 

The Federal Aviation Administration began looking into issues with the Dreamliner's fuselage in September of last year, just days after the planemaker grounded eight of the giant jets, which were made in South Carolina, after finding flaws that raised questions about their structural integrity and the risk of potential in-flight failures.

Group revenues, Boeing said, fell 3.25% from last year to $14.8 billion, again coming in shy of analysts' forecasts of a $16.59 billion tally.

"2021 was a rebuilding year for us as we overcame hurdles and reached key milestones across our commercial, defense and services portfolios," said CEO David Calhoun. "We increased 737 MAX production and deliveries, and safely returned the 737 MAX to service in nearly all global markets."

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"On the 787 program, we're progressing through a comprehensive effort to ensure every airplane in our production system conforms to our exacting specifications," Calhoun said. "While this continues to impact our near-term results, it is the right approach to building stability and predictability as demand returns for the long term."  

Boeing shares were marked 3.1% lower in mid-day trading following the earnings release to change hands at $197.67 each, a move that would extend the stock's six month decline to around 12.5%.

Boeing said earlier this month that it closed out 2021 with net orders of 535 aircraft, just ahead of the 507 booked by its European rival Airbus. 

Boeing is hoping for a return to service in China, the world's biggest aircraft market, for the workhorse 737 MAX jet, which was grounded by China's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) in 2019 following the deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The CAAC issued an "airworthiness directive" on December 2 that provided instructions to airline operators as to what changes are required from the 737 MAX before the planes can be included in fleet operations, and reports have indicated flights could resume this month.

Earlier this fall, Boeing said China, the world's second-largest economy but the largest aircraft market, would likely need 8,700 new airplanes over the next two decades, a figure that translates to overall sales of around $1.47 trillion.

A further $1.8 trillion will likely be needed to service both its existing and future fleet additions over the next 20 years, Boeing said.

Boeing's 2021 Market Outlook, its annual analysis of long-term market dynamics, sees overall demand for around 43,610 over the next two decades, a figure that represents around $7.2 trillion in value but is down from its 2019 forecast of 44,040.