By Dhirendra Tripathi
Operating cash flow in the December quarter was $716 million as it generated robust commercial orders, including record freighter sales and took steps aimed at generating higher liquidity.
The company closed the year with an order backlog of $377 billion, higher by $10 billion in the three months through December as clients prepared for return to travel after two years of the pandemic.
Problems with its wide-body 787 Dreamliner planes continued to weigh on the company’s profitability. Boeing booked $3.5 billion in pre-tax non-cash charge as it intensified its efforts to return the planes to service.
Reuters reported last week that deliveries of the 787 are expected to remain frozen until around April as U.S. regulators review production flaws, while designs for the larger 777X face further regulatory pushback from Europe.
On the other catalog of planes – 737 MAX — that too had its share of defect issues plaguing it, Boeing said it is currently producing at a rate of 26 per month and is progressing towards 31 per month in early 2022.
Boeing said since the FAA’s approval in November 2020, it has returned the planes to service in nearly all global markets barring China where the country’s regulator issued an airworthiness directive last month, outlining changes required for their airlines to prepare their fleet for service.
Boeing’s fourth-quarter revenue fell 3% and came in short of $15 billion, let down by 14% erosion in defense, space and security revenue.
Adjusted profit per share almost halved to $7.69, reflecting lower charges and higher commercial volume.
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