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Boeing to Fire Hundreds as Aircraft Sales Slow

Paul Ausick

The Boeing Co. (BA) will shed more employees as it faces new orders and production slow down for some of the company's current commercial jets. According to reports Monday morning, the company plans to fire "hundreds" more engineers this year with the cuts scheduled to begin on June 23.

The job cuts announced Monday come in addition to 245 job losses already scheduled for May 19 and voluntary reductions that have chopped about 1,800 engineering and technical positions so far this year. According to a Boeing spokesman, the cuts will affect both union and non-union workers.

While the company did not specify which locations would be affected, chances are high that the Seattle area will take the brunt of the cuts. Boeing's 777 production will be cut to 5 per month later this year and is likely to be cut further as the company transitions to the 777X models scheduled to reach customers in 2020.

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Production of the 747 jumbo jet has also been reduced as orders for new 747s dry up. Both the 747 and 777 are produced in Washington state.

Boeing has floated the idea of raising production of its 787 Dreamliner from a current level of 12 per month to 14. The plane is built both in Washington and South Carolina. The 787-10 is slated to begin production this year (which will slow deliveries) with first deliveries next year (which will make up for the slowdown in 2017). By 2020, 787 production could drop to 10 per month according to some analysts, with production falling to 7 early in the 2020s according to Buckingham Research.

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Boeing's stock rose about 1.5% Monday afternoon to $178.17 in a 52-week range of $122.35 to $185.71. The stock's 12-month price target is $179.81.

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