Boeing debt rating outlook lowered by S&P on weakened aircraft demand

/ / News

S&P Ratings on Wednesday revised its outlook on Boeing Co. debt to negative, from stable, on weaker demand for aircraft amid the pandemic. The outlook for global air travel, and therefore for aircraft demand, “continues to weaken, which will likely result in lower Boeing earnings and cash flow than we previously expected the next few years, delaying an improvement in credit ratios,” S&P said. The debt ratings agency kept its BBB- rating on Boeing, the lowest rung of a investment-grade rating. “The negative outlook reflects that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on aircraft demand could be materially worse or take longer to recover than we expect” and prolong the time for the company to improve its balance sheet. On the brighter side, free cash flow is likely to be positive next year, albeit lower than previously expected, and the company has sufficient liquidity after the recent $25 billion debt issue, S&P said. Shares of Boeing kept their gains on Wednesday, and so far this year are down 47%. That compares with losses around 5% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing is a Dow component. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.