Boeing stock drops over 3% after earnings, dragging down Dow

Key Points
  • Two of Boeing's three businesses saw declines in revenue from the same time last year.
  • CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Boeing delivered "a record 202 commercial airplanes" in the quarter.
  • Boeing's stock is up over 72 percent this year, according to FactSet.
Boeing beats Street, post stronger-than-expected cash flow

Boeing shares fell more than 3 percent in midday trading Wednesday after reporting sluggish revenue growth in two key businesses.

Both its commercial airplanes and its defense, space, and security units saw declines in revenue – by 1 percent and 5 percent, respectively – compared to the same time last year. The business segments had a combined $329 million in costs from the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker due to production problems. The program remains in testing as Boeing seeks to certify the aircraft.

Boeing's slide accounts for more than 50 points of the Dow Jones industrial average's 172 point decline. Boeing's stock has climbed steadily this year, up over 70 percent as of Tuesday's close, according to FactSet.

This despite CEO Dennis Muilenburg saying Boeing delivered "a record 202 commercial airplanes" in the quarter as it increases production of the 737 MAX aircraft.

Expectations vs. results 

  • EPS: $2.72 per share vs. $2.66 per share expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $24.3 billion vs. $23.9 billion expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

The aerospace giant raised its full year earnings forecast to a range of $11.20 – $11.40, up ten cents from its previous range of $11.10 – $11.30. The company says the upward adjustment is due to a lower-than-expected tax rate.

The quarter ended with a $474 billion orders backlog, which includes $16 billion added during the quarter, down from $482 billion three months ago.

Boeing's trade dispute with Bombardier dominated both headlines and stock valuations over the past three months.

At the center of the dispute are 75 Bombardier C Series jets, which Boeing alleged were sold to Delta Air Lines for "absurdly low prices, in violation of U.S. and global trade laws." Bombardier refuted the allegations as "pure hypocrisy."

The U.S. Commerce Department's initial ruling in September recommended a tariff of 300 percent on the C Series, essentially siding with Boeing. That would mean the jets, which Boeing claims cost Delta $19.6 million apiece, would now cost $78.3 million.

When the U.S. State Department announced its intention to sell $5 billion in Boeing F-18s to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lashed back, asserting his country "won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business."

Boeing's defense CEO Leanne Caret responded that her company would "not back down," saying she hopes it "doesn't impact our defense sale."

Then competitor Airbus joined the fray. On Oct. 16, Airbus agreed to buy a majority stake in the C Series program. Boeing is sticking with its lawsuit despite the deal, making it possible for Bombardier to assemble the jets in Alabama. The partnership would give Airbus a 50.01 percent stake in the C Series, and Bombardier added that the deal could double the value of the program.

The final Commerce Department ruling on the dispute is expected in December, followed by a separate International Trade Commission decision in February 2018.