Boeing Reports Disappointing Q4 Earnings, But CEO Sees 'Explosive Start' To 2023 In Company's 'Sweet Spot'

Zinger Key Points
  • Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun says he's optimistic about 2023, and for good reason.
  • "I don't think any of us have rose colored glasses on here," Calhoun says.

Boeing Co BA shares are taking off after being trapped on the runway for most of the morning. The company turned in disappointing fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, but CEO Dave Calhoun says the planemaker has tailwinds under its wings.

"If we look at the way we finished the quarter, we focused on deliveries and we focused on cash flow as the primary metrics, and on both of those fronts we exceeded even our own expectations," Calhoun said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk On The Street."

What Happened: Boeing reported a quarterly net loss of $1.75 per share, which came in significantly below estimates for positive earnings of 26 cents per share.

The company turned in fourth-quarter revenue of $19.98 billion, which missed average analyst estimates of $20.38 billion, according to Benzinga Pro.

Related Link: Boeing Shares Drop On Missing Q4 Earnings Consensus, 737 Program Is Stabilizing Monthly Production Rate At 31

Boeing's top-line results didn't miss consensus estimates by much, Calhoun said, adding deliveries were better than expected and cash flow was incredibly strong. The company generated over $3 billion in cash flow in just the fourth quarter, which he said was "pretty remarkable."

The planemaker reaffirmed its 2023 expectations for operating cash flow in the range of $4.5 billion to $6.5 billion. 

"We still feel very good about our guidance and we're off to a pretty good start," Calhoun said. 

The Boeing CEO expects the reopening in China and the lifting of COVID-19-related travel restrictions to be a big boost for the company in 2023. He told CNBC that travel demand in China is at least twice as high as it was in the U.S. following the reopening. 

Cross-border traffic is off to an "explosive start" this year, he said, adding "that is our sweet spot."

"I'm feeling pretty optimistic and constructive around the market. I think for good reason. I don't think any of us have rose-colored glasses on here," Calhoun said.

BA Price Action: Boeing has a 52-week high of $223.23 and a 52-week low of $113.02.

The stock struggled to find its footing early in the day, but it was up 0.51% at $213.07 at the time of writing, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo: via Boeing.

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