Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Boeing Burned Through $40 Million a Day in the First Quarter

By Lou Whiteman - Updated Apr 28, 2021 at 4:20PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Quality issues and the pandemic's effects continue to weigh on the company.

A combination of continued pandemic-related weakness and lingering quality issues caused Boeing (BA -1.01%) to bleed through $3.67 billion in cash, or about $40 million per day, during the first quarter, a reminder that there is no quick fix for what ails the aerospace giant.

Boeing today reported a first-quarter loss of $1.53 per share, worse than the $1.16 loss estimate, on revenue that was in line with expectations. Wall Street went into the quarter with low expectations, and in fact had predicted cash outflow would top $4 billion.

Illustration of Boeing widebody planes in formation.

Image source: Boeing.

The company's massive commercial operation has been under pressure since the 2019 grounding of the 737 MAX after a pair of fatal accidents. The plane was returned to service late last year, but new jet demand has faltered as airlines try to cope with the pandemic.

In recent months, Boeing has dealt with additional engineering issues with the 737 MAX and its 787 Dreamliner that have stalled deliveries, further crimping cash flow.

In a message to employees, CEO Dave Calhoun sounded upbeat, saying the company made "important strides" in the quarter to get the business back on track.

"While the impacts of COVID-19 continue to challenge the overall market environment, we view 2021 as a key inflection point for our industry as vaccine distribution accelerates and we work together across government and industry to help enable a robust recovery," Calhoun said.

But a recovery will take time. Boeing does not believe passenger traffic will return to 2019 levels until 2023 at the earliest.

Its defense business failed to offset the commercial weakness, booking a $318 million charge on the new Air Force One project in part due to COVID-19 impacts and what it called "performance issues at a key supplier."

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
BA
$136.31 (-1.01%) $-1.39

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
323%
 
S&P 500 Returns
112%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/06/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.