Boeing posts first annual loss since 1997 as Max costs rise

Boeing posted its first annual loss in more than two decades as the financial fallout from two deadly crashes of its marquee aircraft has mushroomed to more than $18 billion.

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $1 billion in the fourth quarter as revenue plunged 37% due to the grounding of the 737 Max. The company has suspended new deliveries of the plane.

The icon of U.S. manufacturing lost $636 million for all 2019.

Boeing added another $9.2 billion to charges for concessions to airlines that have canceled thousands of Max flights and higher costs related to compensation, doubling its estimate of the total financial hit from the crisis to $18.6 billion.

Revenue tumbled to $17.91 billion, far below Wall Street's forecast of $21.70 billion, according to a FactSet survey of analysts.

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Shares of Boeing rose $7.78, or 2.5%, to $324.22 in trading before the market opened Wednesday.

The Max was grounded last March, after two crashes five months apart killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The crisis has left Boeing far behind rival Airbus in sales and deliveries of new jetliners, caused layoffs at suppliers, and led to the firing of CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

U.S. airlines that own Maxes – Southwest, American and United – don't expect it back until after the peak of the summer travel season. It is anyone's guess about how willing passengers will be to fly on the plane.

Boeing executives were scheduled to discuss the fourth-quarter results with analysts later Wednesday. It will be the first earnings call for new CEO David Calhoun, a former General Electric and Nielsen executive who had been on Boeing's board since 2009.