Max Grounding May Cost Boeing 'Multiple' Of $115M Per Month, Says JPMorgan

Weakness in Boeing (BA ) shares might persist amid uncertainty about the path forward, especially in an increasingly politicized environment, JPMorgan analyst Seth Seifman tells investors in a research note.

The analyst finds it likely that Boeing will compensate operators for their grounded aircraft and notes "this can take many forms, including both near-term cash and future purchase economics." As a floor, if 737 Max rent is $300,000 per month and there are ~375 in service, the monthly impact would be $115M, Seifman calculates. He points out, however, that airlines will likely seek compensation for the cost of the alternative lift, other operating costs, and lost profits, so the final number "could be a multiple of this amount."

Further, with the Max planes on the ground, Boeing will likely stop delivering them to airlines that cannot fly them, says the analyst. This should be temporary but not insignificant, he contends, given his estimate that the 737 Max will provide $6B of operating cash flow before working capital this year. However, Seifman adds that Boeing "generates far more cash than any industrial company in the world and this financial strength should be useful."

The analyst keeps an Overweight rating on Boeing with a $450 price target. The stock closed yesterday up $1.73 to $377.14.

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