FINANCE | Moody's Eyes Downgrade for Boeing on Cash Flow Concerns

Boeing, the aerospace giant, faces a potential credit rating downgrade from Moody's Investors Service. This news comes on the heels of a leadership shakeup announced by the company on Monday. Moody's is specifically looking at downgrading Boeing's "Baa2" senior unsecured rating and "Prime-2" short-term rating.


The reasoning behind the potential downgrade centers on Moody's belief that Boeing may not be able to deliver its popular 737 narrow-body aircraft at the volumes needed to significantly boost its free cash flow. Strong free cash flow is crucial for a company to be able to pay down debt in a reasonable timeframe. Moody's suggests that without this increase, Boeing's financial health could suffer.

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This potential downgrade comes at a time when Boeing is still grappling with the aftermath of the 737 MAX safety crisis. The grounding of the aircraft for nearly two years due to two fatal crashes significantly impacted Boeing's production and revenue. While the MAX has since been cleared to fly again, Boeing is still working to win back the trust of airlines and passengers. The lower credit rating, if issued, could have a ripple effect on Boeing. A lower rating typically translates to higher borrowing costs for the company. This could make it more expensive for Boeing to raise capital for future endeavors, impacting its ability to invest in research and development or expand its production capacity.

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Boeing is not without options. The company is actively working to ramp up production of the 737. They are also hoping to see increased demand for their other aircraft models, such as the wide-body 787 Dreamliner. Additionally, the recent leadership changes may indicate a renewed focus on improving efficiency and profitability. Only time will tell if Moody's downgrades Boeing's credit rating. In the meantime, all eyes will be on Boeing's ability to deliver on production targets and generate the cash flow needed to regain the confidence of investors and credit rating agencies.

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