Bombardier third-quarter results beat on strong private jet demand, shares rise

European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva

A Bombardier Global 6500 aircraft is pictured during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Nov 2 (Reuters) – Canada’s Bombardier (BBDb.TO) reported third-quarter results on Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by robust demand for its pricier business jets and aftermarket services, sending shares up 9% in morning trade.

Corporate jet makers continue battling supply chain challenges to meet demand from wealthy buyers, following a surge in orders and private flying during the pandemic.

But economic headwinds, and recent signs of flattening demand are raising investor concerns, even as some planemakers aim to produce more jets.

North American flight activity fell 4.2% in September 2023 compared with the same month a year earlier, according to Argus International.

Bombardier Chief Executive Eric Martel told reporters that the company is planning for more deliveries in 2024, without disclosing a specific figure, compared with this year’s target of more than 138 aircraft.

Montreal-based Bombardier is targeting deliveries of 150 jets for 2025.

Bombardier’s order backlog fell to $14.7 billion at the end of the third quarter, from $14.9 billion at the end of the second quarter.

Bombardier has increased inventories to support higher deliveries compared with 123 in 2022.

“Supply chain is difficult, but we are not using it as an excuse for missing our commitments,” Chief Financial Officer Bart Demosky told an analyst call.

Last month, Cessna business jet maker Textron (TXT.N) raised its annual profit outlook and said it expects higher deliveries in 2024 as supply chain improves.

Bombardier generated $80 million in free cash, a metric closely watched by investors, in the third quarter, compared with $52 million a year earlier.

Revenue from Bombardier’s aftermarket business, which provides maintenance services, rose 11% to $414 million.

Bombardier posted revenue of $1.86 billion beating expectations of $1.75 billion, as it delivered six more business jets in the quarter than a year earlier.

Excluding items, Bombardier earned 73 cents per share, compared with estimates of 46 cents.

Reporting by Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Evans