Boeing sees $4.3 billion of market value erased after a fatal 737 crash in Iran

A member of a rescue team walks among debris from a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, that crashed after a take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020

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A member of a rescue team walks among debris from a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, that crashed after a take-off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020
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Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
  • Boeing tumbled as much as 2.3% on Wednesday, erasing about $4.3 billion of the firm’s market value in the wake of a fatal 737 crash in Iran.
  • A Ukraine International Airlines flight heading from Iran to Ukraine lost contact two minutes after takeoff at 6:12 a.m. local time, according to FlightRadar24.
  • A technical issues has been suggested as a reason for the crash, and government officials are distancing it from heightened tensions between the US and Iran.
  • The jet involved is a predecessor to the 737 Max, the model grounded around the world after two fatal crashes and intense regulatory scrutiny.
  • Watch Boeing trade live here.

Boeing shares tanked as much as 2.3% on Wednesday, wiping out roughly $4.3 billion in market value in the wake of a fatal 737 crash in Iran.

A Ukraine International Airlines 737 flying from Iran’s Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport to Kiev, Ukraine lost contact two minutes after taking off at 6:12 a.m. local time, according to FlightRadar24. The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran initially attributed the crash to a technical issue, and later said the cause was unknown and under investigation.

The flight had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, including citizens from Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK. All were killed in the crash.

The airline announced it will post a passenger list on its website “after final confirmation of their presence on board of the aircraft.”

One firm has already downgraded its rating for Boeing stock after Tuesday’s crash. Cowen analyst Cai Von Rumohr knocked its rating for Boeing shares to “market perform” from “buy” on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg data, and pulled the firm’s price target to $371 per share from $419. The new target implies an 11.8% decrease over the next 12 months.

Boeing is already mired in fallout from two crashes involving its similar 737 Max jet. The controversy has already led to several congressional hearings, the resignation of Boeing’s CEO, and even speculation around a hit to US gross domestic product.

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The 737 involved in the Tehran crash was a predecessor to the 737 Max, though it’s not yet known whether the technical issue cited as the reason for the crash is shared between the two jets. The Max remains grounded around the world as Boeing seeks to regain regulatory approval for the model.

The crash arrived hours after Iran fired over a dozen missiles at bases housing US troops in Iraq, retaliating against the US’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Officials have distanced the 737 crash from the rising US-Iran tensions and the possibility of terrorism.

Boeing traded at $332.75 per share as of 11:20 a.m. ET Wednesday, up about 1.5% year-to-date.

The plane manufacturer has 11 “buy” ratings, 15 “hold” ratings, and three “sell” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $367.43, according to Bloomberg data.

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