Among earnings in US pre-market session Boeing is the most dramatic. The company delivers Q3 revenue at $14.1bn down 29% y/y and better than the estimated $13.8bn, but the company says it will cut the workforce to adjust to a ‘new reality’ which is that of lower demand for commercial airplanes in the foreseeable future as IATA does not see commercial aviation returning to passenger traffic numbers from pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024-2025. On the positive side of Boeing’s earnings, the cash burn has stopped for now, but the Covid-19 and 737 MAX scandal has reduced revenue by 40% in two years and the company is looking into a FY21 reality of net debt of $31bn with around $8bn estimated EBITDA to support that debt. It is manageable but a leverage factor at the high-end suggesting Boeing will have to reduce R&D and other operating expenses to focus on shoring up its balance sheet. An alternative would be to tab into the equity to reduce the balance sheet leverage. With the current numbers, Bloomberg’s default risk model has Boeing’s 1-year default probability at 4.6%. The 5-year CDS market is pricing the debt at 253 basis points which is high but lower than would Bloomberg’s default risk would suggest.
Other earnings stories today are good earnings from UPS that are still benefitting from the transition to e-commerce and more packages that need to be delivered, but the logistics company is not willing to commit to any outlook as the company still finds the future too unpredictable. MasterCard disappoints with Q3 revenue down 15% y/y and cross-border volumes down 36% y/y compressing earnings which are coming slightly below estimates.
The backwardation game in VIX and bleeding in Europe continues
Global equities are in risk-off mode driven by rapidly rising Covid-19 cases in the US and Europe suggesting a violent second wave as winter is approaching. In Europe, several countries are close to maximum intensive care unit capacity and France is considering a new national lockdown for one month starting on Friday. Germany is tightening its mobility restrictions and overall, it increases the risk of another dip in the European economy. As a result, STOXX 50 futures are down 3.4% today and down 13% from its local closing high on 21 July. The index is breaking below the level where the May breakout to the upside happened and thus the market is opening up for declines down to around the 2,800 level suggesting around 5-6% more downside in European equities in an extended risk-off scenario.