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Why did Boeing report a loss in the second quarter and what is the outlook for its grounded 737 Max jets?

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In a defining moment for Boeing (NYSE:BA), the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer reported a record second-quarter loss of $2.9bn, as the worldwide grounding of its flagship 737 Max jets led to a pile-up in costs. While Boeing’s earnings beat market estimates of a loss in the $6.65-6.69 range, the company stated a more than 270% plunge in earnings; from $3.33 a share in Q2 2018 to a loss of $5.82 a share in the second quarter this year on the back of fewer deliveries. While Boeing’s losses are the largest in the history of the company, surpassing the $1.6bn loss during the financial crisis in 2009, the aircraft manufacturer’s revenue also slumped from $24.8bn last year to $15.8bn in the three months to 30th June.

While Boeing’s losses from halting deliveries of the 737 Max jets were partially offset by an 11% growth in revenues from its services unit and defence business in addition to higher margins on the 787 Dreamliner, chief executive Dennis Muilenberg expects the 737 Max to return to service sometime in October. Failing that, the aviation giant could look at other options, including the complete suspension of production.

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