From Market Crumbs
Boeing has had a rough couple of years, starting with two separate 737 MAX crashes in October 2018 and March 2019, respectively, which killed a combined 346 people.
Boeing saw net total orders drop to negative 87 airplanes last year, its worst in decades. For comparison, its main competitor Airbus saw a net 768 orders last year.
Boeing's troubles continued into this year as production of the 737 MAX continues to remain halted. In January, Boeing reported zero net orders, while in February the company reported negative 28 net orders.
With Boeing already facing significant challenges, the coronavirus outbreak has added additional pressure to the company.
Boeing has made a handful of moves over the last month to bolster its financial position. The company drew down its entire $13.8 billion secured loan, halted hiring, suspended its dividend, as well as offered voluntary layoffs and early retirement packages.
Boeing is also seeking federal aid from the U.S. government, but won't do so if it requires the government to take an equity stake in the company.
Over the weekend Boeing announced it is "extending the temporary suspension of operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice" after about 135 Boeing employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
"These actions are being taken in light of the company’s continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities," Boeing said in a statement.
The decision affects about 30,000 production employees, who will no longer receive pay after Wednesday. Despite still receiving medical benefits, they now must take vacation and sick time or apply for unemployment.
With things at Boeing going just about as badly as possible, it will be interesting to see how the company comes out of all of this.
Even once the coronavirus subsides, Boeing is still faced with its 737 MAX issues and lack of any net orders for its airplanes.