The board of directors of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) met in Seattle over the weekend, and one of the items on the agenda, according to Bloomberg, was the purchase of more 767 cargo planes from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said the deal involves the purchase of “at least” 25 767-300F freighters at a total cost of around $5 billion at list prices.
That is good for Boeing, but not as good as the initial report we had last week that FedEx was looking to buy 50 of the cargo jets. That deal would have been worth about $10 billion. The current list price for a 767-300F is $199.3 million.
FedEx already operates 23 Boeing 767-300s and, as of last week, had an order at Boeing for another 35. FedEx is Boeing’s only customer for the plane, although a version designated the 767-2C is the platform on which the company is building a new U.S. Air Force tanker, the KC-46A.
Neither Boeing nor FedEx would comment on the report.
According to industry research and consulting firm Leeham News and Comment, the talks between FedEx and Boeing also included a possible order for 10 of Boeing’s 777F freighters. Each of those planes costs $318.7 million, and 10 would add another $32 billion to Boeing’s revenues.
But if the FedEx board is now talking just 25 new 767s, then it seems likely that a possible 777F order also will be cut, if not eliminated altogether. That is not good news for Boeing. The company needs to write new orders for the current version of the 777 in order to fill production slots on its assembly line and keep the revenue rolling in. The 777 is, in some ways, Boeing’s most critical product, even more important to Boeing than the 787.
Boeing’s stock closed up about 1.5% on Monday, at $146.58 in a 52-week range of $116.32 to $158.83.