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Boeing tops Q4 expectations but offers no 2024 guidance

(Sharecast News) - Troubled aerospace giant Boeing topped market expectations on fourth quarter losses on Wednesday, but declined to offer guidance for 2024 as it grappled with safety issues with its 737 MAX-9 narrowbody. The company reported a quarterly loss per share of 47 cents, surpassing the expected 78 cents loss.

Revenue also exceeded estimates, totalling $22.02bn, compared to the expected $21.1bn.

In the fourth quarter, Boeing delivered 157 commercial aeroplanes and recorded 611 net orders.

The production rate for the 787 stood at five per month, while the 737 production rate reached 38 per month.

It generated $3.4bn in operating cash flow in the period, and $3bn in free cash flow on a non-GAAP basis.

For the full year, Boeing delivered 528 commercial aircraft and recorded 1,576 net orders, leading to a substantial total company backlog of $520bn, including over 5,600 commercial aircraft.

The company's operating cash flow for the year amounted to $6bn, with free cash flow of $4.4bn.

Despite the positive figures, Boeing remained cautious due to the ongoing 737 MAX 9 crisis.

The company did not provide a 2024 outlook, following an incident where a fuselage panel blew out mid-flight on a near-new 737 MAX 9 on 5 January.

Chief executive officer Dave Calhoun emphasised that the current priority was addressing quality and safety issues, particularly regarding the 737 MAX.

"While we often use this time of year to share or update our financial and operational objectives, now is not the time for that," he said.

Calhoun expressed a commitment to supporting customers, working transparently with regulators, and ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality.

Federal investigators in the US were currently examining the circumstances surrounding the 737 MAX 9 incident.

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had cleared the MAX 9 to fly again, it halted Boeing's planned production ramp-up, which aimed to reach about 50 MAX planes per month by 2025 or 2026.

At 1024 EST (1524 GMT), shares in the Boeing Company were up 3.4% on the New York Stock Exchange, at $207.26.

Reporting by Josh White for

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