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Boeing CEO Dismisses Idea That Company Will Turn to a Massive Stock Sale to Knock Down Debt

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  • Boeing CEO David Calhoun on Wednesday addressed an analyst report that the plane manufacturer could undertake a large stock sale to help pay down the debt load on its balance sheet.
  • "It's more than a little speculative, let me say that," Calhoun said on "Mad Money," reacting to a Morgan Stanley note projecting a $20 billion to $30 billion capital raise.
  • "Not sure how or why they did it and it's not in our plans to go down that path, so probably not much more to say than that," he said.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun on CNBC Wednesday shot down speculation that the company could turn to a massive stock sale to knock off debt from its balance sheet.

In a note Tuesday, Morgan Stanley said that the airplane manufacturer could raise between $20 billion and $30 billion, an assessment that comes nearly two weeks after Boeing's finance chief said it would consider any opportunity, including equity, to reduce debt on the balance sheet. Morgan Stanley said that could dilute outstanding shares by up to 20%.

Calhoun balked at the notion, suggesting to Jim Cramer that it was a non-starter.

"It's more than a little speculative, let me say that," he said in a "Mad Money" interview. "Not sure how or why they did it and it's not in our plans to go down that path, so probably not much more to say than that."

Boeing had about $61 billion of debt and $27 billion of cash on hand at the end of September. Calhoun, who took over as Boeing chief in January, previously projected that it would take years for the company to return its balance sheet to levels prior to both the coronavirus pandemic and 737 Max crisis.

The top-selling 737 Max airplane, which last month was cleared by federal authorities to fly again after being grounded for almost two years, is a big driver of cash flow for Boeing. The company burned a lot of cash responding to investigations in the 737 Max, which was involved in two deadly plane crashes.

Boeing spent $5.1 billion in the third quarter, which was down from the $5.6 billion it burned in the second quarter.

Despite the company's ongoing struggles, shares have more than doubled from the coronavirus sell-off earlier this year, though the stock remains down more than 30% year to date.

According to Morgan Stanley, the stock's growth is a sign that Boeing could reduce its debt obligations and address long-term strategic challenges.

Boeing shares slipped 1.5% on Wednesday, closing at $225.87.

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Boeing.

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