MONTREAL – Bombardier’s stock closed at its lowest level since 1993 on Friday amid reports that its new Global 7000-8000 business jet may be delayed and concerns that a deal between a major Chinese airline and Boeing could hurt sales of the Montreal company’s CSeries.
The shares hit a low of $1.84 in early trading, but closed down two cents to $1.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
That followed a more than 10 per cent dip on Thursday.
The last time Bombardier’s shares (TSX:BBD.B) plunged so low was in October 1993.
Thursday’s sell-off followed a Bloomberg report that cited a company official who said Bombardier’s new leadership team is conducting “a full review of all aspects of the program, including its schedule” for its new Global aircraft.
David Tyerman of Canaccord Genuity said such a delay should not come as a surprise given that Bombardier hasn’t provided an update on the development of the Global 7000 and 8000, including the date for first flight.
The analyst said he’s assuming the plane will be two years late and be delivered in 2018 and 2019.
Tyerman also said investors might have some concern about the impact of economic problems in China and Greece. Asia Pacific and Europe are two big areas of business for Bombardier’s rail and aerospace divisions.
The rail business is largely dependent on orders from government, which often spends more during economic slowdowns. In aerospace, the regions account for about 18 per cent of the US$20 billion in annual revenues.
Bombardier announced in May plans to lay off 1,750 employees and slow the rate of production for its Global 5000/6000 planes to reflect conditions in some markets such as Latin America, China and Russia.
The company’s shares could also be taking a hit from the lack of CSeries orders.
China Eastern Airlines announced it is buying 50 Boeing 737 aircraft for its budget subsidiary, China United Airlines.
Boeing said the order is for planes with 160 to 189 seats. However, a report in Seattle said the order from China’s third-largest airline will also include upgraded Max variants.
Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets initially issued a report suggesting the order could include smaller planes that would be a direct competitor to the CSeries. He later amended it to reflect the larger plane size.
“While the 737-800 is not a direct competitor to the CSeries, the order from China Eastern…does likely reduce the probability of a CSeries order from China Eastern in the near term,” he wrote in a report.
Bombardier said it didn’t compete for this order but is “in discussions with a number of local airlines in the region.”
Tyerman said it’s a hyper-sensitive time for the CSeries.
“We won’t know what orders they get for quite a long time and while you’re waiting it’s painful, painful, painful….but it doesn’t tell you if the plane is going to be successful,” he said in an interview.
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