Downgrade Hits Boeing Shares

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Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) have been down by more than 1% this morning following a downgrade of the company’s shares from Buy to Hold at BB&T Capital Markets. Boeing’s shares closed down about 2% yesterday, following a reported electrical fire in one of the company’s 787 Dreamliners that had just landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Calling the Dreamliner’s electrical system’s inability to avoid this sort of problem a “very serious issue,” the investment firm recommends waiting on the sidelines until the problem is sorted out.

There are a couple of possible scenarios that could play out here. One is that the National Transportation Safety Board will ground all Dreamliners until the problem is fixed. That would be very bad news for Boeing, which likely would have to pay compensation to buyers of its planes until the issue is resolved and the fix made to the cause of the fires.

Another possible outcome is that buyers will want to renegotiate pricing on existing orders for the more than $2 billion 787 because, absent a fix, there is a good chance that the aircraft will have to be taken out of service once a fix is identified. Neither scenario is attractive to Boeing.

Shares are currently down about 0.9%, at $75.39 in a 52-week range of $66.82 to $78.02.

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