The companies are taking action to boost production in this era of aircraft shortages.
Spirit AeroSystems on Wednesday unveiled an agreement with Boeing under which the beleaguered supplier will receive immediate funding from the planemaker and revised prices for 737 and 787 production, sending its shares up 22%.
Spirit, one of the industry’s major manufacturers of large aircraft structures, has struggled with cash flow problems over the past few quarters and quality issues surrounding the fuselages it makes for Boeing’s 737 narrowbody jets.
Under the agreement announced on Wednesday, Spirit will get a higher price per 787 unit in the near term, while 737 unit prices will be cut from 2026 to 2033.
As a result, Spirit is expected to record $455 million of extra sales between 2023 and 2025. Spirit’s revenues from 2026 to 2033 are projected to decrease by $265 million.
Boeing has agreed to extend repayments on $180 million of financing. The planemaker will also provide an extra $100 million in the next 10 days for tooling needed for future 787 and 737 production rate increases.
The agreement addresses concerns laid out by former Spirit CEO Tom Gentile, who said in September that the company’s contracts with Boeing and Airbus were “not sustainable” due to inflationary pressures that contributed to $215 million in losses over the first half of 2023.
The agreement also includes a “control clause” requiring Boeing’s input if Spirit were to be acquired.
That “seems to suggest that Boeing is going to have some sort of pseudo-management control over big, strategic decisions that Spirit may make, particularly with regard to change of control, should that theoretically occur,” Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said.
Overall, the agreement should stabilize Spirit and pave the way for a future agreement with Airbus, he added.
Boeing said the agreement “will enhance operational stability in our production system and help us deliver on our customer commitments.”
Spirit CEO Patrick Shanahan said in a statement that the companies will continue to focus “on further generating supply chain performance and resiliency.”
Quality woes related to 737 fuselages continue to weigh on Spirit as it forecast third-quarter revenue between $1.43 billion and $1.45 billion, below analysts’ average expectation of $1.53 billion, according to LSEG data.
Spirit shares were trading at $21.13. Boeing was up 0.9% at $187.21.
(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru, Valerie Insinna in Washington; editing by Arun Koyyur and Jonathan Oatis)
This article was written by Valerie Insinna and Abhijith Ganapavaram from Reuters and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].
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Photo credit: Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems are working to boost aircraft production. Reuters / Reuters