Boeing's 737 Deliveries Rebound From Midsummer Factory Meltdown

(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. delivered 61 of its highly profitable 737 jetliners in September, up from 48 a month earlier, taking a step toward recovery from supply shortages that disrupted production at a Seattle-area factory.

Key Insights

  • The increase shows progress in Boeing’s effort to smooth manufacturing problems. The planemaker brought in 600 mechanics to help tackle out-of-sequence work that left dozens of unfinished aircraft parked around the factory.
  • Mechanics are making headway on jets awaiting parts, enabling Boeing to deliver nine more 737s than it made at the current production pace of 52 a month. Monthly shipments of the narrow-body plane, Boeing’s biggest source of profit, have steadily improved since hitting a six-year low in July.
  • On a quarterly basis, Boeing delivered 190 commercial aircraft, 12 fewer than a year ago as shortages of cabin equipment slowed some wide-body shipments. Executives expect 737 production to improve and have left full-year delivery targets intact.
  • “We expect a full recovery in the fourth quarter,” Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said in a report to clients. Boeing will need to ship about 183 of its 737 planes to reach full-year targets, “which seems achievable given the production rate and current parked aircraft.”

Market Reaction

  • Boeing was little changed at $385.23 at 2:12 p.m. in New York.