Airbus offers 'conservative' guidance for 2024, announces special dividend

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Airbus offers 'conservative' guidance for 2024, announces special dividend
Credit: © Reuters.

Airbus (EADSY (OTC: EADSY )) posted worse-than-expected adjusted EBIT but beat revenue expectations for the fourth fiscal quarter.

The company’s shares fell around 0.3% in Paris.

Specifically, the jet maker reported Q4 adjusted EBIT of €2.21 billion, slightly below the expected €2.26 billion. Revenue came in at €22.89 billion, beating the estimated €22.46 billion.

Net income was €1.46 billion, falling short of the €1.71 billion projection.

For the entire of 2023, Airbus’s core adjusted operating profit grew by 4% to €5.8 billion, with revenue growing by 11% to €65.4 billion.

The company secured a total of 2,319 gross commercial aircraft orders during the year, a significant rise from the 1,078 orders in 2022. Net orders totaled 2,094 after accounting for cancellations.

It delivered 735 commercial aircraft in 2023, up from 661 in the previous year.

For 2024, the company has set goals to deliver approximately 800 commercial aircraft, achieve an EBIT adjusted in the range of €6.5 billion to €7.0 billion, and generate free cash flow before customer financing of about €4.0 billion.

Moreover, Airbus also said it would maintain its regular dividend at 1.8 euros per share and introduced a special dividend of 1 euro per share as the net cash position exceeded the 10-billion-euro mark, indicating a trigger for potentially returning cash to shareholders.

Commenting on Airbus’s report and guidance, analysts at Morgan Stanley said:

“We think the shares are likely to be weaker today driven by FY24 guidance which appears to be conservative. A delivery target of c800 aircraft is in- line with our forecast (802) but slightly short of VA consensus at 813 and implies just 65 additional aircraft yoy.”

“Elsewhere, a special dividend of €1 per share has been announced with the net cash balance now at €10.7bn - comfortably ahead of the €10bn net cash threshold previously flagged as the minimum requirement from which to initiate shareholder returns,” the analysts wrote.

“However, there has been no buyback initiated as we think some may have been hoping for,” they added.

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