The American aircraft manufacturer Boeing unveiled results above expectations for the fourth quarter of 2023 on Wednesday, also committing to improve the quality of its aircraft after the incident on an Alaska Airlines flight. In a message addressed to the group's employees and sent to the press, the group's boss, Dave Calhoun, affirmed that he remained focused on "the actions" carried out "as a company to strengthen quality at Boeing".
Between last October and December, the group earned a turnover of $22.02 billion and recorded a net loss of $23 million. The FactSet consensus expected 21.18 billion and a loss of 188 million respectively. Reported per share and excluding exceptional items - a benchmark for the markets - the net loss stood at 47 cents, less than analysts' expectations (loss of 78 cents).
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Over this period, the aircraft manufacturer delivered 157 commercial aircraft and received net orders for 611 aircraft. The group has achieved its production rate targets at the end of 2023: five 787 aircraft and 38 737 aircraft per month. Regarding the 737 family, the group is targeting production of fifty aircraft per month by 2025/2026.
But this could be thwarted by the decision on January 24 of the American civil aviation regulatory agency (FAA) which prohibits any expansion of the production of its flagship aircraft. This decision followed the incident on January 5, when a door stopper in the cabin of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 flying from Portland (Oregon) to Ontario (California) came loose in flight. The 171 aircraft with this configuration, out of the 218 Boeing 737 MAX 9 delivered to date, have been grounded by the FAA.
On January 24, it published a “vast” maintenance and inspection program which allowed a gradual return to service of these devices. Alaska Airlines was the first, with a flight Friday afternoon. In these circumstances, the group has not communicated forecasts at this stage concerning its 2024 financial year, nor its pre-existing 2025/2026 objectives. In electronic trading before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, Boeing shares rose 0.48%.