January 13, 2020 / 6:50 PM / in 3 months

Boeing's worst year in decades

(Reuters) - Boeing’s new Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun started work on Monday, inheriting a company that is reeling from the effects of two fatal crashes which led to the grounding of the 737 MAX last March.

The Chicago-based firm is struggling for traction with financial investors and has ordered a full-scale halt in production of the 737 MAX that has already cost billions of dollars.

Following are charts on a year of crisis for the company as it prepares on Tuesday to publish figures for 2019 that are expected to show a collapse of orders and deliveries and the loss of its status as the world’s biggest planemaker to Europe’s Airbus.

(Click here for an interactive graphic: here)

Boeing, a top Dow performer for many years, was the fourth-worst performer in the 30-member index in 2019 after two air disasters within five months killed 346 people on the new MAX planes.

Most investors are cautious, with 13 out of 24 analysts rating it a “hold” while seven still see it a “buy” and “strong buy”.

(GRAPHIC: Boeing share performance in 2019 compared to Dow peers - here)

Boeing’s shares rose just 1% last year, trailing a 29% gain for the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX and 22% rise for the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI. The company had started the year as one of the stock market’s surest bets, with a sharp rise to an all-time high of $446.01 on March 1, days before the Ethiopian Airlines crash, masking the scale of the annual decline: the stock is down 27% since.

(GRAPHIC: Boeing's 2019 compared to the Dow and S&P 500 - here)

Analysts have estimated that the crisis is costing the company around $1 billion a month, leading to a 53% slump in profit and negative free cash flow of $2.89 billion in the third quarter.

Free cash flow points to a company’s ability to expand production, develop new products, make acquisitions, pay dividends and reduce debt.

FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is parked at a Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/David Ryder

In the fourth quarter, Boeing’s cash outflow is expected to balloon to $6 billion while profit is expected to fall by 70%. The planemaker has roughly $21 billion in long-term debt.

(Click here for an interactive graphic: here)

Reporting by Rachit Vats, Ankit Ajmera and Dominic Roshan KL in Bengaluru and Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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