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My forecast of Boeing Commercial Airplanes 2017 revenues

Next January 31st, Boeing will hold an earnings conference where it will announce its Q4 and full 2017 year financial results, including the revenues of each of its units.

Three weeks ago, on January 9th, Boeing already issued a press release where it announced its deliveries and orders for 2017, mainly:

  • 763 commercial aircraft delivered (including 529 of the 737 family, or 136 787).
  • 912 net orders (after cancellations) (including 745 of the 737 family).

The release mentions “912 net orders, valued at $134.8 billion at list prices“, however those list prices are discounted, nothing new, and with an estimate of that discount I’ll try to guess the figure of revenues for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, not so much trying to be accurate in itself, but to point in advance to the increasing of the discounts as we will see below.

Where can we find Boeing list prices? Boeing host them in their site, these have just bee raised 10 days ago about 4% (see this comment about it). The previous prices dated from March 2017, when Boeing raised them again, that time by about 2% from its 2015 prices (untouched in 2016). To compute 2017 revenues and estimate of discount I use 2017 prices, not the latest ones.

If Boeing didn’t apply those discounts, the value of the 763 aircraft delivered in 2017 would yield revenues of above 118 bn$. To come to a ballpark figure, I will take the latest figure of discounts that I had calculated with 2016 and earlier figures, being the latest ~46%.

Discount evolution_2016

If I plug that discount into the 2017 list prices of the fleet mix of the 763 commercial aircraft that Boeing delivered we would come to a figure of revenues of 62.1 bn$. However, see below what was Boeing’s own guidance in their Q3 earnings release:

2017 Q3 Financial Outlook

Boeing’s 2017 Financial Outlook at Q3 2017 earnings press release.

At three months to the year end (Q3), they forecast between 760 and 765 deliveries, which turned in 763. At the same time they pointed to revenues between 55.5 – 56.5 bn$… and not above 62 bn$. I believe they will exceed their own estimate, but not by 5 bn$, that is why I see that their discounts have been greatly increased in the last 2017. They must have had a bad time in escalating prices of aircraft sold years ago, delivered in 2017 but with escalation conditions much lower than ongoing list prices.

With all these ingredients… my forecast is: 57.0 bn$.

Some comments to it:

  • My forecast is a bit more optimistic than their upper bracket (56.5) which may be slightly conservative.
  • The implied discount of my revenues forecast would be in the ~ 50% range.

(1) See here a couple of such forecasting revenues exercises that I did for Boeing’s 2014 and 2015 revenues.

(2) See here the latest detailed calculation of discounts that I posted in 2015.

 

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My forecast of Boeing Commercial Airplanes 2015 revenues

Last year, I put the model I use to estimate the discounts applied by Boeing on the sales of its commercial aircraft to the test of trying to forecast in advance what would be Boeing Commercial Airplanes division revenues for the year. In this post I want to repeat that exercise (1).

The latest estimate of the discounts that I made, in 2015 yielded a 47% (same as the previous year). See here the post in which that estimate was explained (using Boeing’s reported figures of deliveries, orders, list prices and revenues) and below its evolution.

 

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, through 2014.

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, through 2014.

As of today, January 11th, Boeing revenues for the full year 2015 have not been announced yet. Boeing’s investors relations website informs that the 2015 earnings conference call will take place on January 27th.

The process and sources with which I will reach to my forecast are described below:

  1. See here Boeing (net) orders for the year 2015: 768 aircraft among all models.
  2. See here Boeing deliveries in the year 2015: 762 aircraft among all models.
  3. See here Boeing 2015 list prices.
  4. See in the above curve the average discount I will use: 47% (this is the figure calculated with 2014 data, and that is a hypothesis that will be put to test with how accurate the forecast turns out).
  5. See here [PDF, 839KB] Q3 2015 earnings press release. I use it to see how were faring in 2015 Boeing Commercial Airplanes services, deducing it from the reported figures of Sales of Services, Boeing Capital and Global Services & Support, reported in different pages of the release. Up to end September 2015, the services figures were increasing in comparison to 2014 figures. I will assume the global figure to follow the same proportional increase; arriving at ~1,636 m$ for Boeing Commercial Airplanes services (remember, this figure will not be actually explicitly reported).

With all these ingredients… my forecast is: 66.98 bn$ (2).

In the 2015 Q3 report you can see Boeing’s own guidance for year-end figures:

Boeing’s 2015 Financial Outlook at Q3 2015 earnings press release.

Boeing’s 2015 Financial Outlook at Q3 2015 earnings press release.

Some comments:

First, you can see that my forecast (66.98 bn$) is about a billion dollars more optimistic than Boeing’s own outlook 3 months ago, 65.0-66.0 bn$  (3), which was even lifted from 64.5 – 65.5 in the 2015 Q3 earnings release.

Second, in the 2015 Q3 release, you can see the revenues up to end September (below). In them, you can see that up to then, revenues of Boeing Commercial Airplanes had increased 16% in relation to 2014. My forecast is a bit less optimistic here for the year-end as it estimates the increase in revenues will be +12% (that is due to lower deliveries in the Q4 of 2015).

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues Q3 2015.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues Q3 2015.

Final comment: if Boeing managed in 2015 to command better prices on delivered aircraft, the figure will be even higher. If the figure is lower than the 66.0 bn$, and in line with Boeing’s Outlook, it’ll mean that the market is forcing Boeing to apply ever higher discounts to their published list prices.

I am now looking forward to January 27th and Boeing’s earnings call!

Note: After Boeing’s earnings call, in order to compare the results with the forecast and evaluate its accuracy I will either write an update of this post or a new entry.

(1) See here the post from last year, in which I missed the revenues by just a 0.3%, closer than analysts and Boeing’s own financial guidance provided in their 2014 Q3 earnings release.

(2) To be more precise the forecast from the model is 66,978 m$.

(3) As I mentioned in last year’s post, if my forecast turns out correct some may be tempted to say that this is the usual trick played by CFOs: to present better figures (in the results) than expected (in the outlook).

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Boeing discounts detailed calculation, 2014 vs. 2013

Last years I have published in the blog  some posts (1) dedicated to show what was my estimate of the average discount Boeing applies to its commercial airplanes. I included in those posts the rationale used for the calculation. Find here the post related to the calculation of the discount based on 2014 data of Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues, deliveries and list prices.

In 2014, I included in another post a simplified table (2) with the calculation comparing 2013 simplified result versus 2012. In this post I wanted to update that table with 2014 figures in comparison to those of 2013:

Boeing discount detailed simplified calculation: 2014 vs. 2013.

Boeing discount detailed simplified calculation: 2014 vs. 2013.

In the table above, you may find for both 2014 and 2013 Boeing reported deliveries per model and Boeing published list prices per model (3) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported revenues.

What is then estimated? Boeing Commercial Airplanes services revenues (these are deduced from financial reports reported information), Boeing Commercial Airplanes platforms revenues (derived from the previous figure) and the average discount; this is calculated from the difference between estimated BCA platforms revenues and what should have been that figure had the airplanes been sold at list prices.

Results: average discounts of 46.3% in 2014 and above 46.2% in 2013, though nearly the same.

(1) Find here what is becoming a “body of knowledge” on Boeing discounts: estimates calculated for 20142013201220112010 and 2009; a review of the French portal Challenges.fr of aircraft discounts prior to Le Bourget airshow of 2013; aBombardier’s CEO statement on what is known in the market as the Boeing discount; Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner speaking about the more aggressive pricing they are being forced to offer.

(2) I refer to this table as “simplified” as it excludes from the calculation the potential influence on yearly revenues (note, not cash flow) of down payments linked to orders received in then-year versus orders received in previous years for aircraft delivered in then-year.

(3) Two assumptions are needed: 737-800A transfer prices from BCA to Boeing Defense Space & Security for the P-8 (for simplicity assumed to be the same as the 737-800 price) and for the 737-based business jets (for simplicity assumed to be the same as the 737-900ER).

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My forecast of Boeing Commercial Airplanes 2014 revenues

In the previous years I have been estimating the discounts Boeing applies to its list prices of commercial aircraft. You can see here the result of last year estimate (based on 2013 figures). The results I arrived at are that Boeing has been increasing its discounts in the recent years, and that in 2013 they topped ~47%.

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, 2013.

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, 2013.

With this post I wanted to take a step ahead and put the model to the test by using it for forecasting what will be Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues for the year 2014.

As of today, January 15th, these have not been announced yet. In Boeing’s investor relations website you can see that the 2014 earnings conference call will take place on January 28th.

How will I reach to my forecast?

  1. See here Boeing (net) orders for the year 2014: 1,432 aircraft among all models.
  2. See here Boeing deliveries in the year 2014: 723 aircraft among all models.
  3. See here Boeing 2014 list prices.
  4. See in the above curve the average discount I will use: 47% (unchanged from past year, this is a hypothesis that will be put to test with how accurate the forecast turns out).
  5. See here [PDF, 841KB] Q3 2014 earnings press release. I use it to see how were faring in 2014 Boeing Commercial Airplanes services, deducing it from the reported Sales of Services, Boeing Capital and Global Services & Support. Up to end September 2014, the services figures were declining in comparison to 2013 figures. I will assume the global figure to follow the same proportional decline; arriving at ~589m$ for Boeing Commercial Airplanes services (remember, this figure will not be actually explicitly reported).

With all these ingredients… my forecast is: 60.2bn$ (1).

In the 2014 Q3 report you can see Boeing’s own guidance for year-end figures:

Boeing's 2014 Financial Outlook at Q3 2014 earnings press release.

Boeing’s 2014 Financial Outlook at Q3 2014 earnings press release.

Some comments:

First, you can see that my forecast (60.2bn$) is a bit more optimistic than Boeing’s own outlook 3 months ago, 57.5-59.5bn$ (2).

Second, in the 2014 Q3 release, you can see the revenues up to end September (below). In them, you can see that up to then, revenues of Boeing Commercial Airplanes had increased 13% in relation to 2013 (12.66% to be more precise). My forecast is a bit more optimistic here as well: at year end the increase in revenues will be +13.6%.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues Q3 2014.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues Q3 2014.

Final comment: if Boeing managed in 2014 to command better prices on delivered aircraft, the figure will be even higher. If the figure is lower than the 60.2, and in line with their forecast, it’ll mean that the market is forcing Boeing to apply ever higher discounts to their published list prices.

I am now looking forward to January 28th and Boeing’s earnings call!

++++++++

Update on February 11th:

As announced, Boeing published on January 28th its full 2014 results [PDF, 838KB]. Which were the Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues?

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues full 2014.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues full 2014.

That is 59.99bn$, or 206m$ short of my detailed forecast of 60.196bn$. This means that I missed with my forecast by a 0.3%, not bad. Even better taking into account that the main discrepancy have been the lower level of services under the commercial airplanes unit.

The result, as my intuition went was above the upper limit of the bracket Boeing gave as guidance for the full year in the 2014 Q3 report, 57.5-59.5bn$ (see note (2)).

(1) To be more precise the forecast from the model is 60,196m$.

(2) If my forecast turns out correct some may be tempted to say that this is the usual trick played by CFOs: to present better figures than expected.

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Boeing discounts detailed calculation, 2013 vs. 2012

Last years I have published in the blog  some posts (1) dedicated to show what was my estimate of the average discount Boeing applies to its commercial airplanes. I included in those posts the rationale used for the calculation. Find here the post related to the calculation of the discount based on 2013 data of Boeing Commercial Airplanes revenues, deliveries and list prices.

In this post, I wanted to show in detail a simplified table (2) with the calculation comparing 2013 simplified result versus 2012:

Boeing discount detailed simplified calculation: 2013 vs. 2012.

Boeing discount detailed simplified calculation: 2013 vs. 2012.

In the table above, you may find for both 2013 and 2012 Boeing reported deliveries per model and Boeing published list prices per model (3) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported revenues.

What is then estimated? Boeing Commercial Airplanes services revenues (deduced from financial reports reported information), Boeing Commercial Airplanes platforms revenues (derived from the previous figure) and the average discount; this is calculated from the difference between estimated BCA platforms revenues and what should have been that figure had the airplanes been sold at list prices.

Results: average discounts of above 46% in 2013 and above 45% in 2012.

(1) Find here what is becoming a “body of knowledge” on Boeing discounts: estimates calculated for 2013201220112010 and 2009; a review of the French portal Challenges.fr of aircraft discounts prior to Le Bourget airshow of 2013; aBombardier’s CEO statement on what is known in the market as the Boeing discount; Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner speaking about the more aggressive pricing they are being forced to offer.

(2) I refer to this table as “simplified” as it excludes from the calculation the potential influence on yearly revenues (note, not cash flow) of down payments linked to orders received in then-year versus orders received in previous years for aircraft delivered in then-year.

(3) Two assumptions are needed: 737-800A transfer prices from BCA to Boeing Defense Space & Security for the P-8 (for simplicity assumed to be the same as the 737-800 price) and for the 737-based business jets (for simplicity assumed to be the same as the 737-900ER).

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Boeing list prices increases vs. discounts increases…

In a previous post I updated the estimate of what is the average discount Boeing applies when selling its commercial airplanes using 2013 data of list prices, deliveries and reported revenues. The figure I came up with was a 47% discount. I included the following graphic showing the discount evolution:

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, 2013.

Boeing Average Discount Evolution, 2013.

Seeing the increasing trend of average discount together with knowing the fact that Boeing regularly increases list prices triggered the following question: Have Boeing airplane real prices increased, decreased or stayed constant in the recent years? I set out to answer this question using the estimated average discount of each year (1) from the graphic above.

The Boeing list prices (LP) can be found here. I have been recording those prices for years and thus have a table with the evolution of list prices for each model year by year. The following step is to apply the average discount estimated for each year to then-year list prices, to get the estimated discounted prices (EDP) per model. Thus, a table can be built for the last 5 years.

You can find below the result for the best-selling aircraft during previous years: 737-800, 737-900ER, 777-300ER and 787-8. Together these 4 models amounted 560 deliveries in 2013 or over 86% of the total 648 airplanes Boeing delivered in 2013.

Boeing List and discount Prices evolution table, 2008-2013.

Boeing List and discount Prices evolution table, 2008-2013.

In the table above I included in black figures what have been Boeing list prices of these models in the past years (as reported in their website) while I marked in blue the figures which are estimated, using as a departure point the calculated averages discounts per year (also included in blue in the table). I included as well the list prices year-on-year change as a % of the previous year list prices, per model.

The average list price increase included at the bottom line is computed with the information of all Boeing models (19 in 2008 and 18 in 2013, though different ones, a total of 24 different models along this period), not only the 4 included in this table.

You may see in the table above that after not increasing prices in 2009, Boeing has steadily increased them in 2010 (6.3%), 2011 (4.7%), 2012 (6.7%) and 2013 (1.9%). However, if you take a look at the blue figures in the same table you will notice that prices of 2013 are between 2008 and 2010 price levels for all 4 models! That is, the widely announced yearly list prices increase has been yearly offset by a discreet (not-announced) increase in the discounts applied to sales of airplanes. Thus, the pricing power of Boeing has remained barely constant during the last 5 years. You may see it better in the graphic below:

Boeing List and discount Prices evolution graphic, 2008-2013.

Boeing List and discount Prices evolution graphic, 2008-2013.

The graphic shows the price evolution for each of the 4 airplane models selected, taking as a reference their list and estimated discounted prices in 2008 (indicated as 100%) . List prices are shown with straight lines, versus dashed lines used for estimated prices. Each pair of prices for each aircraft is presented in the same color for easier identification. Some comments to the graphic:

  • Through continuous increases, 2013 list prices were between 18% (737 and 777) and 27% (for the 787) higher than in 2008.
  • However, due to increasing discounts from 38% in 2008 to 47% in 2013, the increase in list prices is almost entirely offset.
  • 2013 discounted prices are below 2010 discounted prices for all models.
  • 2013 discounted prices are almost back at 2008 levels for the 737 and 777, only the 787 seems to have stayed at 2010 levels.

(1) There is no way to know the real price and discount that Boeing applies in each sale, as it will depend from customer to customer (American Airlines -AMR- or Fedex) and from model to model (737-800 or 787-8). There where competition is tougher, discounts will be higher. However, the estimates I have made are an average of all Boeing aircraft sold in a given year.

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Ray Conner on pricing and Boeing discounts

Reading in Leeham News and Comment aerospace blog about the appearance of Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, at JP Morgan aerospace conference I picked the following lines:

Joe Nadol (JN) of JP Morgan: Is there pricing pressure?

Ray Conner (RC): I think margin will be OK [for 737NG]. Some initial launch deals for MAX can be a little more aggressive, but we’re seeing that become more stable.

JN: MAX–I thought pressure would be more on late NGs than on the MAX.

RC: We were a little late getting into the marketplace with MAX and there was pricing pressure on NGs. We were about a year late so we were more aggressive than we would have been had we not been late.

For the last years I have been trying to estimate averages for the discounts Boeing applies to its commercial aircraft using as departing information Boeing year-end financial results, list prices, net orders, deliveries and services revenues. You can see the results for 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. In each of the posts you can see a detailed explanation of the methodology I followed.

Why do I comment this? Since 2009 I have noticed that the average discount has gone from ~38% (2009), 39% (2010), 41% (2011) to 45% (2012)!!

Find below the explanation I could find for that hike in the discount:

The explanation I can find for that increase shall be linked the built-in penalties for 787 (net orders for 2012 being -12 a/c) and 747 delays (1 single net order) into revenues plus the launch of a new aircraft, 737 MAX (forced by A320neo sales success in 2011).

How does it compare to Conner’s words?

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