Boeing delays release of 2024 financial forecast

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Boeing delays release of 2024 financial forecast
Credit: © Reuters. -- Boeing Co (NYSE: BA ) says it still has "much to prove" to win back the confidence of both regulators and passengers in the wake of a dangerous mid-air door plug breach earlier this month, according to a letter to employees from Chief Executive Dave Calhoun.

The statement comes as Boeing chose as expected not to release a forecast for finances or deliveries during its 2024 fiscal year. Calhoun told employees that instead the group will focus on delivering safe airplanes.

"While we often use this time of year to share or update our financial and operational objectives, now is not the time for that," Calhoun wrote. 

Bloomberg consensus estimates had called for an outlook of annual core earnings per share of $3.62 on revenue of $89.9 billion.

In its fourth-quarter earnings report, the U.S. jetmaker said that it would continue to "cooperate transparently" with federal aviation regulators, adding that it is "taking immediate actions" to strengthen the quality of its 737 program.

A mid-flight -- but non-fatal -- blowout on a 737 Max 9 plane operated by Alaska Airlines earlier this month has thrust Boeing's safety record back into the spotlight and temporarily grounded hundreds of its planes. Scrutiny had previously intensified around the 737 Max fleet after two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.

Boeing said that the 737 program is now producing around 38 planes per month, in line with its prior guidance. Last year, Boeing backed plans to increase output of the aircraft to 50 per month in "the 2025/2026 timeframe."

However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) barred Boeing from expanding production of the best-selling 737 Max jet last week due to "unacceptable" quality control issues. Although the FAA allowed the 737 Max 9 to resume flying pending completed inspections, the authority's decision still marked a fresh blow for Boeing, as the success of the 737 Max is a crucial pillar of its push to recover from both the ongoing safety concerns and the impact of a pandemic-era travel slowdown.

Shares in Boeing hovered around the flatline in premarket trading in New York on Wednesday.

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