The $18 billion loss from the MAX grounding and production stop is more than double what Boeing had predicted just three months ago, with some of that coming from a protracted re-certification period and some from the costs it will incur restarting the MAX production line, an estimated $4 billion.
Boeing's core operating loss was $2.53 billion, or $2.33 per share, compared with a profit of $3.87 billion, or $5.48 per share, a year earlier.
A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is seen parked in a storage area at the company's production facility in Renton, Washington, on January 10, 2020. Boeing had initially targeted 737 MAX approval in 2019, a timeline that proved overly optimistic and, coupled with criticism over the company's culture, contributed to former CEO Dennis Muilenburg's departure.
Boeing reported its first annual loss in more than two decades on Wednesday, as the company continues to grapple with the fallout of the 737 Max crisis.
In the midst of the US Air Force being unhappy with the KC-46 tanker, Boeing also said it would cut production rates on the 787 Dreamliner from 14 to 10 aircraft per month starting in 2021.
Boeing's final frontier is also facing a challenging year: Last month, Boeing's CST-100 Starliner space taxi failed to get to the International Space Station as intended during its first uncrewed orbital test.
UPDATE 26-09-2019, 19:00 (UTC +3): Added comments from Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun and Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith from Boeing's earnings Conference Call.
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Stephen Dickson, told US airline officials late last week that he was content with Boeing's progress toward getting the Max back in the year, raising the possibility that the plane could fly sooner than Boeing has estimated.
General Electric Co plans to slash 737 MAX engine deliveries to Boeing roughly in half this year.
The planemaker was forced to ground its best-selling aircraft in March a year ago after two deadly crashes that killed 346 people. Calhoun, speaking Wednesday on CNBC, said his "stomach turned" when he saw the communications.
Fourth-quarter revenue tumbled to $17.9 billion, far below Wall Street's forecast of $21.7 billion, according to a FactSet survey of analysts.
Still, much of the bad news is already baked into the stock.
Boeing's 737 MAX jets have been grounded for almost a year and the costs are piling up. Boeing is recommending both simulator and computer-based training for 737 MAX pilots.
Calhoun called the messages "horrible" and criticized company leaders who didn't disclose the messages right away. Shares of the stock were trading at about $324 after market opened Wednesday.