By Olivia Bugault

 

Airbus SE released third-quarter results on Thursday morning. Here's what you need to know:

 

SALES: Revenue for the third quarter fell 27% to 11.21 billion euros ($13.17 billion), slightly missing analysts' expectations of EUR11.57 billion, according to a FactSet consensus estimate.

 

EBIT: Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 49% to EUR820 million, beating analysts' expectations of EUR710 million, according to FactSet. Reported EBIT swung to a loss as Airbus booked a restructuring provision of EUR1.2 billion.

 

WHAT WE WATCHED:

-CASH TARGET: The aerospace giant's free cash flow before M&A and customer financing was better than expected at EUR600 million. Airbus set a new goal for its fourth quarter. It now expects free cash flow to be at least neutral for the last three months of the year. The recent confinement measures announced in Europe to stop the spread of the virus shouldn't affect this target, Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said.

-PRODUCTION RAMP-UP: Mr. Faury confirmed that the production rate of its A320-family jets should remain at 40 per month until at least next summer and then increase in the second half of 2021 as Airbus has sufficient demand for its best-selling narrowbody jets. However, Mr. Faury said that widebody production shouldn't increase next year as recovery will take longer for international flights.

-NO DELIVERY GUIDANCE: Airbus said that it still can't provide guidance on deliveries for the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Despite the slower air travel recovery, we converged commercial aircraft production and deliveries in the third quarter," Mr. Faury said. The number of planes in inventory is down to roughly 135 from 145.

 

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 29, 2020 06:33 ET (10:33 GMT)

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