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Why Boeing Stock Dropped 6% This Morning

By Rich Smith – Apr 15, 2020 at 1:49PM

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Plane sales aren't just slowing down -- they're actually going into reverse.

What happened

It's been a rough week for investors in Boeing (BA 5.92%). Stocks everywhere are falling today, but for Boeing, Wednesday marks the third day in a row that its share price is down. At $137 and change as of 12:45 p.m. EDT, Boeing stock was off 2.4% today (after being down nearly 6% earlier in the day) and was down more than 9% since the end of last week.

Boeing 737 on the ground.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

On Tuesday, Boeing reported its final tally of orders taken and orders canceled for the month of March and year-to-date. Boeing collected firm orders for 49 aircraft in the first quarter of this year: a mix of 737s, 767s, and 787s. But the company also lost 196 orders due to cancellations, and had to advise investors that due to the potential insolvency of its airline customers, a further 160 orders for aircraft had to be withdrawn from its backlog due to uncertainty that the planes will actually be delivered.

As a result, instead of adding 49 planes to its order book in the first quarter of the year, Boeing is subtracting 307.  

Now what

The news isn't entirely bad. Even subtracting those orders, Boeing still has a backlog plump with orders to be fulfilled, and planes to be built: 5,049, to be precise. Still, if the first quarter's news turns out to be foreshadowing, there could be more cancellations as the coronavirus-fueled recession stretches on, and as more and more airlines either cut back their purchases or go out of business.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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