Boeing has released its much-awaited Q1 figures in a virtual meeting broadcast to partners and shareholders.
The report, unsurprisingly, details a revenue battering from both the ongoing 737 MAX saga and the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the three months ending 31 March this year, the company posted a net loss of US$641 million. By comparison, the same period in 2019 netted Boeing a total profit of US$2.14 billion.
To cope with both crises, the company has taken on an additional US$5 billion in private equity and secured financing. In turn, this has distressed share values, which have plummeted towards the latter half of Q1.
As of 14 February, Boeing shares were trading at $340.49. They dipped to a low of $95.01 on 20 March before levelling out at $149.14 at the close of the quarter.
“Boeing sees significant impact on the demand for new commercial airplanes and services, with airlines delaying purchases for new jets, slowing delivery schedules and deferring elective maintenance,” stated a company spokesman.
“To align the business for the new market reality, Boeing is taking several actions that include reducing commercial airplane production rates. The company also announced a leadership and organisational restructuring to streamline roles and responsibilities, and plans to reduce overall staffing levels with a voluntary layoff program and additional workforce actions as necessary.”
As well as job cuts, the company announced that it would look to draw on a term loan facility to stay on top of any near-term liquidity issues. Speculators including Reuters have suggested this could include a bond-laden loan package, but this was not confirmed at the meeting or in any shareholder communications.
Boeing chief executive David Calhoun did, however, address the elephant in the room; the expected return to service of the 737 MAX.
“We’ve continued to make very solid progress and we currently expect that the necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained in time to support resumption of 737 MAX deliveries during the third quarter,” he said on Wednesday.