Boeing Jet Deliveries Down 59% In 2020; Street Says Hold

Boeing Co.’s aircraft deliveries more than halved last year as the coronavirus pandemic brought air travel demand to an almost complete halt.

Boeing (BA) delivered a total of 157 airplanes in 2020 compared to 380 in the previous year. During the fourth quarter, the US planemaker handed over 59 jets to customers out of which, 39 were delivered during the month of December.

Fourth-quarter deliveries included 31 of Boeing’s 737 aircraft, which had been grounded for a 20-month period, following two fatal crashes. During the last quarter of 2020, Boeing delivered only four of its 787 Dreamliners to customers, due to extensive inspections over recent production flaws.

“Through the global pandemic, we took meaningful steps to adapt to our new market, transform our business and deliver for our commercial, defense, space and services customers in 2020,” said Boeing CFO Greg Smith. “The resumption of 737 MAX deliveries in December was a key milestone as we strengthen safety and quality across our enterprise. We also continued comprehensive inspections of our 787 airplanes to ensure they meet our highest quality standards prior to delivery.”

Meanwhile, Boeing received a total of 184 plane orders in 2020, down from the 246 booked a year earlier. During the month of December, the planemaker won 90 orders as Ryanair booked 70 of its 737 MAX, following the return of the aircraft to the skies.

“As we continue navigating through the pandemic, we’re working closely with our global customers and monitoring the slow international traffic recovery to align supply with market demand across our widebody programs. In 2021, we’ll continue taking the right actions to enhance our safety culture, preserve liquidity and transform our business for the future,” Smith added.

Coming now to BA’s stock performance, shares are down 37% over the past year as COVID-19 travel restrictions have resulted in a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services Boeing customers need over the next few years. (See BA stock analysis on TipRanks)

Following the release of BA’s orders & deliveries figures, Cowen & Co analyst Cai Rumohr reiterated a Hold rating on the stock with a $225 price target (8% upside potential),

“December’s 27 MAX deliveries was an encouraging restart but 787 continued to lag mainly due to fuselage join rework,” Rumohr wrote in a note to investors. “In addition, December bookings continued to be weak.”

The rest of the Street is mostly in line with Rumohr’s outlook. The Hold analyst consensus shows 7 Holds, 4 Sells, and 8 Buys. That’s with an average analyst price target of $227.69, indicating 9% upside potential lies ahead over the coming 12 months.

According to TipRanks’ Smart Score system, Boeing is rated with a low 1 score, which indicates a high likelihood of underperformance.

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