Boeing posts first annual loss in more than two decades as 737 Max crisis continues


Boeing on Wednesday reported its first annual loss in more than two decades as costs from the 737 Max crisis rise sharply.

Boeing said it lost $636 million in 2019, marking the first annual loss since 1997. As a comparison, Boeing had posted a profit of $10.46 billion in 2018.

Boeing reported a loss of $2.33 per share for the fourth quarter of last year. Revenue in the last three months of the year dropped 37% to $17.91 billion compared with $28.34 billion in the year-earlier period.

Boeing’s new CEO Dave Calhoun will speak to CNBC at 8 a.m. ET to discuss the company’s results.

Boeing is struggling through a crisis stemming from two crashes of its 737 Max that killed all 346 people aboard the flights. The manufacturer this month suspended production of the planes, which regulators grounded in March after the second of the two fatal flights.

The debacle’s costs to Boeing are rising to more than $18 billion, the company said, roughly double what it outlined in the previous quarter. That amount includes an additional $2.6 billion pretax charge to compensate airlines and other 737 Max customers because of the grounding. Boeing had taken a $5.6 billion pretax charge in the second quarter to compensate its customers.

The company recently reported its worst annual sales figures in decades and it handed the crown to the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer to its rival Airbus.

Calhoun, who took the reins this month, is set to face investors on his first earnings call at the helm of the company and is expected to detail the company’s recovery plan and what it will cost. Boeing last week said it expects regulators to sign off on the planes mid-year, but the FAA has said it could come before that. 

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