Boeing shares fell 1.7 percent Thursday after Delta Air Lines revealed it is purchasing a used 777 jetliner for $7.7 million, reviving concerns that plunging values for some widebody models might signal that their market has peaked.
Boeing shares fellThursday after Delta Air Lines revealed it is purchasing a used 777 jetliner for $7.7 million, reviving concerns that plunging values for some widebody models might signal that their market has peaked.
Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson has sparred with the planemaker, analysts and lessors over the values for decade-old 777-200 family jets, a version of Boeing’s best selling twin-aisle model. Anderson said in October that Delta had been offered the jets for as little as $10 million, later adding that the proposal came from Boeing.
“I was wrong when I said used 777s were on market for $10M,” Delta posted in a tweet Thursday, quoting a comment by Anderson at a presentation to investors in New York. “It was actually $7.7M. We just signed a letter of intent to buy one.” The airline didn’t name the would-be seller and didn’t immediately return a request for details.
Boeing shares closed down $2.55, or 1.7 percent, at $145.56 Thursday, wiping out earlier gains. The stock was up as much as 1.1 percent earlier in the session after Boeing landed a $10 billion aircraft order from Asia’s largest carrier. Doug Alder, a spokesman for the planemaker, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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Following Anderson’s initial comments in October, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg suggested that the price tag was off-base. New 777-200ERs sold for $170 million 10 years ago. Factory-fresh versions currently list for $277.3 million, though discounts are customary in the industry.
“That number is the wrong order of magnitude,” Muilenburg said at the time, adding that the plane’s value was holding up well. “In that 365-seat category, there is no competing aircraft out there.”
While prices are stronger for the largest 777 model, the -300ER, they’ve plunged to as little as $35 million for older -200ER variants with used Rolls-Royce engines and little value on the secondhand parts market, David Perry, an analyst at JP Morgan Securities, wrote in a Dec. 2 report. Most airlines want new planes to take advantage of better financing options, improved fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, he said.
The number of 777-200ERs in storage surged almost sixfold to 34 in November from a year earlier, another symptom of market weakness, according to a report Thursday from Deutsche Bank’s Douglas Runte. Another long-range plane cited by Anderson as proof of a glut — Airbus Group’s A330-200 — has been parked in even greater numbers, almost tripling to 46 over the same period.
With a growing number of twin-aisle jets coming off lease, “pressure on the widebody market seems destined to continue for the near to intermediate term,” Runte said. “While not as catastrophically weak as suggested by Delta Air Lines, the wide- body market is certainly soft.”