Boeing posts fourth straight quarterly loss as sales slump

(Reuters) - Boeing <BA.N> reported its fourth straight quarterly loss on Wednesday as the coronavirus crisis and the 737 MAX jet grounding hurt sales, while reaffirming its expectation that U.S. deliveries of the aircraft would resume before year-end.

Boeing said it was sticking with its deeply reduced widebody production rates announced in July, as well as the goal to hit a build rate of 31 narrowbodies monthly in early 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic has grounded air travel to a near halt, pushing major airlines to the brink of bankruptcy and forcing them to seek government aid, cut costs and defer aircraft deliveries.

As a result, Chicago-based Boeing has slashed production, shed thousands of jobs and shifted its jet development strategy, while working to emerge from the depths of the crisis and the 19-month-old worldwide ban of its 737 MAX jets triggered by two fatal accidents.

The company began a massive job-shedding campaign earlier this year and expects to cut 19,000 jobs by year-end out of the roughly 160,000 workers it had globally by end-2019.

The company's free cash outflow rose to $5.08 billion in the quarter, from $2.89 billion, a year earlier, while total debt jumped to $61 billion, from $19.2 billion.

Excluding items, Boeing lost $1.39 per share in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30.

Revenue fell 29% to $14.14 billion.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

10/28/2020 11:49

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