A broad range of aerospace and defense stocks rose today as markets put a martial spin on President Donald Trump’s decision to make a “hard exit” from an international nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran. That’s not surprising — nor is it surprising that Boeing’s share price fell instead.
Trump’s intention to reimpose trade sanctions almost certainly dooms Boeing’s $16.6 billion deal to sell 80 jets to Iran Air. That sale agreement covered 50 single-aisle 737 MAX jets and 80 wide-body 777s. A separate memorandum of agreement called for Boeing to sell 30 737 MAX jets to Iran Aseman Airlines for a list-price total of $3.4 billion.
The loss is tempered by the fact that Boeing wasn’t counting on the deals going through.
During a teleconference with analysts last month, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said 777 jet production rates were “not dependent” on the Iran deal. The company also has a healthy backlog of 737 jet orders to fall back on.
Boeing’s vice president for government operations communications, Gordon Johndroe, said in an email that the company “will consult with the U.S. government on next steps” regarding the Iran deal.
“As we have throughout this process, we’ll continue to follow the U.S. government’s lead,” Johndroe said.
Airbus struck a similar deal to sell 98 planes to Iran Air, for a list-price total amounting to $20.9 billion. Three planes have been delivered so far, but the fact that Airbus’ planes include U.S.-made parts could throw a roadblock in the way of further deliveries.
“We’re carefully analyzing the announcement and will be evaluating next steps consistent with our internal policies and in full compliance with sanctions and export control regulations,” Reuters quoted Airbus communications chief Rainer Ohler as saying. “This will take some time.”
At today’s market close, Boeing’s share price was down 0.63 percent at $338.37.
Other leading U.S. aerospace firms posted gains — partly due to expectations for increased defense spending, and partly as a reaction to last week’s defense-stock selloff.
It’s not just about Iran: Late last week, for example, the Air Force announced the selection of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to begin work on a new constellation of missile-warning satellites.