Boeing Slides After Wells Fargo Believes FAA 737 Max Audit “Won’t Be Clean”

Shares of Boeing Co. are lower in premarket trading in New York after Wells Fargo analysts downgraded the stock from “Overweight” to Equal Weight” over mounting risks of production and/or delivery impacts due to increasing Federal Aviation Administration inspections of the 737 Max jet production line

Analyst Matthew Akers wrote in a note to clients that the risk of 737 Max jet production/delivery impact has “significantly” increased after Alaska Airlines Flight 1282’s (737 Max-9 aircraft) door ripped off over Portland earlier this month. 

“Given BA’s recent track record and greater incentive for FAA to find problems, we think the odds of a clean audit are low,” the analyst said. 

The analyst noted: “Our above-consensus free cash flow (FCF) view was based on more 737s being liquidated from inventory along with production costs normalizing, and supported by China likely restarting deliveries this year. All three seem at risk given the Alaska Airlines incident and FAA follow-on oversight.” 

Boeing has 24 buys, eight holds, and zero sells, with an average price target of $271.

Akers lowered Boeing’s price target to $225 per share from the prior $280.

With the FAA and Boeing increasing inspections on Max aircraft, there are rising risks that “other manufacturing problems” with the jets could emerge. 

Considering it’s an aircraft that was “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys.” 


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