Bombardier Has Momentum Even After Fourfold Stock Jump, CEO Says
(Bloomberg) -- Bombardier Inc. Chief Executive Officer Eric Martel has a message for investors who are uneasy about the stock’s room to run after a four-fold gain this year: “We see momentum across the board.”
U.S. private aviation flights have fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels amid an influx of first-time customers, who are expected to stick around even after the pandemic subsides, Martel said in an interview on Monday. That’s helping the Canadian business-jet maker build a backlog of orders, while an extremely low amount of used jets available for sale is helping shore up new-plane pricing, he said.
Bombardier is beginning to turn a profit on its new, flagship Global 7500, which is the industry’s largest aircraft that’s built specifically for business clients. The company also is building out its service business and is ahead of its plan to pare down and refinance debt. That gives Bombardier breathing room with its next debt maturity coming in December of 2024.
“We feel pretty good about where we are today,” Martel said. “People like our story and the second thing is we’ve been performing extremely well in the last couple of quarters.”
Earnings momentum is a welcome phenomena for Bombardier and a departure from recent years when the company teetered on the edge of bankruptcy after sinking billions to develop a new commercial airliner. It later pulled the plug and sold the business to Airbus SE. The company also sold its flagging rail-equipment unit to Alstom SA, making private jets its only business now.
The surge in private-aviation demand has fueled a recovery for the stock, which plummeted to as low as C$0.28 last year after touching a multi-year high of C$5.45 in July 2018. Shares fell 2.4% today at 2:59 p..m. in Toronto to $C2.03.
The company took in 1.8 orders for every plane it shipped in the second quarter and that positive trend is continuing, Martel said. He declined to provide an updated book-to-bill number because the company will soon report third-quarter earnings.
“We like the fact right now that we’re building backlog,” he said. “I think its reaffirming pricing quite a bit across the board on all platforms.”
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