Boeing Earnings: What to Look for from BA

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate adjusted EPS of -$0.15 vs. -$1.39 in Q3 FY 2020.
  • Commercial airplane deliveries are expected to increase sharply YOY.
  • Revenue is expected to rise for the second consecutive quarter after nine straight quarters of YOY declines.

Boeing Co. (BA) has seen a surge in demand for commercial aircraft amid the rebound in travel as passengers’ concerns begin to ease about the COVID-19 pandemic. During the second quarter, the company made a profit after six straight quarters of losses as revenue rose sharply. Despite this, Boeing faces ongoing problems beyond the pandemic. The company’s 787 Max jet has had continuing quality problems. And in mid-October, production and deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner were delayed after a new defect was detected in a titanium part.

Investors will look at how Boeing is overcoming these issues to ensure its continuing recovery when it reports earnings for Q3 FY 2021 before market open on Oct. 27. In Q3, analysts expect Boeing to report a dramatic narrowing of adjusted losses per share compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue is expected to show a healthy gain year-over-year (YOY), though slower than Q2 FY 2021.

Investors will also focus on Boeing’s commercial airplane deliveries, a key metric that measures the level of demand for one of the company’s main products. Analysts estimate a sharp rise in deliveries compared to the year-ago quarter, though well below the company’s recent peak quarters in FY 2017 and FY 2018.

Boeing stock has been highly volatile, underperforming the broader market in the last year. In November 2020, the stock staged a massive rally through early December, then declined through late January 2021. At this point, Boeing stock climbed once again to a high point in March. Since then, shares have gradually slipped downward, with sporadic modest upticks along the way. Boeing shares have provided a 1-year trailing total return of 26.0%, behind the total return of 31.6% for the S&P 500.

Source: TradingView.

Boeing Earnings History

Boeing has struggled to report positive adjusted earnings per share (EPS) for years. In the past 10 quarters, Boeing has reported only three periods of positive adjusted EPS, two of those prior to pandemic. The widest loss was in Q4 FY 2020, when Boeing reported and adjusted loss of $15.25 a share. Boeing’s performance has improved considerably since then. Its loss narrowed sharply in Q1 FY 2021, followed by its first positive adjusted EPS in seven quarters in Q2 FY 2021. For Q3, analysts expect Boeing to report a loss of $0.15 per share, which would be the smallest reported loss in more than two years.

Boeing’s revenue performance has been equally poor. The company posted nine consecutive quarters of YOY revenue declines, from Q1 FY 2019 through Q1 FY 2021. Q2 FY 2021 was the first YOY improvement in revenue since FY 2018. Revenue jumped 44.0% for that quarter. Now, analysts expect another quarter of YOY revenue growth, but at a slower pace of 21.5%. Despite that progress, Boeing’s estimated Q3 revenue would be only about two-thirds what it was in Q3 FY 2018.

Boeing Key Stats
 Estimate for Q3 FY 2021Q3 FY 2020Q3 FY 2019
Adjusted Earnings Per Share-$0.15-$1.39$1.45
Revenue (B)$17.2$14.1$20.0
Commercial Airplane Deliveries962862

Source: Visible Alpha

The Key Metric

As mentioned above, Boeing’s commercial airplane deliveries are also a key metric watched by investors. Boeing manufactures both commercial and military aircraft. Demand for the former type is much more sensitive to economic conditions whereas demand for the latter depends on government policy decisions regarding its military program. Commercial airplane deliveries have begun to rise amid rising travel demand as the threat from the pandemic has eased in the U.S. But production and deliveries have been slowed in recent years by the lengthy grounding of Boeing’s 787 Max jets, and most recently, by parts defects in 787 Dreamliner.

These quality issues have hampered the speed with which Boeing’s commercial airplane deliveries recovered from the pandemic. The company dropped to a low of just 20 commercial airplanes delivered in Q2 FY 2020, down 77.8% from Q2 FY 2019 and down nearly 90% from 194 commercial airplanes delivered in Q2 FY 2018. Since that low point, commercial airplane deliveries have improved each quarter sequentially, up to 79 deliveries for Q2 FY 2021. Analysts forecast that this trend will continue, with 96 commercial airplanes delivered for Q3 FY 2021. This would be more than triple the number of commercial aircraft delivered in the prior-year quarter.

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