The Boeing 737 Max aircraft prepares to land after a test flight in Seattle, Washington, on September 30, 2020.
Mike Siegel | The Seattle Times | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Boeing reported a record net loss of over $ 11.9 billion in 2020 – results that worsened after deliveries of its 777X aircraft were postponed until the end of 2023 and a charge of $ 6.5 billion in the fourth quarter against this large-scale program as Coronavirus pandemic hits demand for aircraft.
Boeing's shares fell more than 3% in premarket trading.
The company lost a whopping $ 15.25 per share on adjusted terms in the fourth quarter, which surprised Wall Street. Analysts had forecast a loss of 1.80 USD. The company also recorded a $ 468 million write-down of "abnormal production costs" for the 737 Max program.
Boeing's fourth quarter revenue declined 15% year over year to $ 15.3 billion, above analysts' forecast for revenue of $ 15.07 billion. The company's net loss rose to $ 8.4 billion in the three months from $ 1.01 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Here are the numbers:
EPS: a loss of $ 15.25 per share. Revenue: $ 15.07 billion versus $ 15.07 expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv
2021 will be another challenging year for the aviation industry as new travel restrictions and coronavirus infections curb already depressed demand for flights.
"2020 was a year of profound societal and global disruptions that severely constrained our industry. The profound impact of the pandemic on commercial air travel associated with the 737 MAX primer challenged our results," said CEO Dave Calhoun in the earnings announcement.
Revenue in the commercial aircraft division decreased 37% year over year to $ 4.73 billion in the fourth quarter.
Boeing aircraft deliveries fell to their lowest level in decades, and cancellations hit records last year when the 737 Max was suspended for an extended period after two fatal accidents and a slump in travel requirement due to the pandemic.
Revenue in its increasingly important defense, space, and security businesses offset some of the weakness, rising 14% to $ 6.78 billion in the fourth quarter.
The pandemic is driving demand for wide-body aircraft, which are typically used for longer international flights. Boeing had previously ceased production of its 787 Dreamliners, jetliners used for international long-haul aircraft. This type of travel has been hardest hit by the pandemic.
The 777X program was already fraught with technical delays. Boeing now expects the first delivery to be made in late 2023, more than two years later than last April, due to weaker demand and increased certification requirements as a result of the 737 Max crisis.
Boeing executives will call them to discuss their findings with analysts at 10:30 am ET.
The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer is trying to turn a page after two crashes of its 737 Max that killed all 346 on board. The US aviation authorities approved the best-selling aircraft for flight again in November. This enabled Boeing to deliver around 400 new jets that were manufactured in its Seattle plant but could not be handed over to customers. American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Aeromexico and Brazil's Gol are among the airlines that have received Max Jets so far.
Deliveries are vital to Boeing as airlines pay most of the aircraft price.
Calhoun forecast in April that travel demand will not return to 2019 levels for two to three years.