Boeing Extends Washington State Factory Production Halt Indefinitely

Boeing Co (BA) said it will extend the suspension of production at its Washington state factory until further notice amid an acceleration of the coronavirus pandemic in the area.

“These actions are being taken in light of the current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities,” the company said in a statement.

The largest U.S. planemaker said March 23 that it would temporarily halt production at the site for a period of up to 14 days.

Four-star analyst Seth Seifman at JP Morgan last month reiterated his Hold rating and $130 price target on Boeing, citing the company’s high debt burden and uncertainty about government bailouts.

Last month, Boeing asked for at least $60 billion in U.S. government loans for itself and other American aerospace manufacturers to help the embattled industry cope with the the coronavirus-related financial drainage.

Boeing shares have been hit hard from the beginning of the year as its stock plunged more than 60%. The consensus of Wall Street analysts view the stock as a Moderate Buy based on 13 Holds, 6 Buys and 1 Sell. The $211.15 average price target foresees a 70% recovery potential for Boeing shares in the next 12 months. (See Boeing’s stock analysis on TipRanks).  

Separately, Boeing informed investors that it will temporarily halt production at its facilities in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania until April 20, in response to the spread of the COVID-19 in the area. The suspension is effective from April 3. Boeing produces military rotorcraft at the site, including the H-47 Chinook, V-22 Osprey and MH-139A Grey Wolf. Defense and commercial services work and engineering design activities are also performed at the site. Employees who cannot work from home will receive paid leave for the 10 working days, the company said.

“Suspending operations at our vital military rotorcraft facilities is a serious step, but a necessary one for the health and safety of our employees and their communities,” said Steve Parker, Vertical Lift vice president and general manager, and Philadelphia site senior executive.

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