Boeing delivers first quarterly profit in 1.5 years

Planemaker boosted its production forecast for its best-selling 737 MAX jet

Boeing Co. booked its first quarterly profit in nearly two years as 737 Max jet deliveries picked up amid a rebound in travel demand. 

The 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling plane and critical to the company’s future. Boeing delivered 79 jets during the second quarter, up from 20 a year ago. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 210.34 -2.90 -1.36%

Boeing’s commercial plane revenue accounted for 35%, or $6.01 billion, of the company’s nearly $17 billion in quarterly sales. The division commanded 52% of Boeing’s revenue in the first quarter of 2019, just as the 737 Max was grounded following twin crashes that killed everyone aboard. 

Boeing collects the majority of its revenue from plane sales once its aircraft are delivered. 

A rebound in Boeing’s commercial jet business boosted total revenue by 44% year over year to about $17 billion, ahead of the $16.54 billion that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting.

Boeing recorded a quarterly core operating profit of $755 million, up from a loss of $3.32 billion last year. The company had reported six consecutive quarterly losses following the grounding of the 737 Max and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"While our commercial market environment is improving, we're closely monitoring COVID-19 case rates, vaccine distribution and global trade as key indicators for our industry's stability," said Boeing CEO David Calhoun.

Boeing’s 737 program is currently producing at a rate of approximately 16 jets per month. The company expects production to increase to a rate of approximately 31 jets per month by early 2022.

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The company has a backlog of more than 4,100 planes worth $285 billion. 

Boeing shares were up 3.84% this year through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500’s 17% gain.