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Bombardier employees look at the one of the new C Series aircraft after its first test flight in Mirabel, Quebec, on Sept. 16, 2013.
Bombardier employees look at the one of the new C Series aircraft after its first test flight in Mirabel, Quebec, on Sept. 16, 2013.
(CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/REUTERS)

Bombardier cash flow needs to reverse course soon

As Bombardier Inc.’s investors mull the company’s quarterly financial results and management’s latest assurances about the far-behind-schedule C Series airliner, they’ve been given a new number to worry about: negative-$915-million.

That was the size of the Montreal-based transportation manufacturer’s outflow of free cash in the first quarter of 2014; essentially, the company spent nearly $1-billion more than it brought in over the quarter. Investors were braced for negative cash flow – it’s actually not unusual for Bombardier’s spending to outpace its sales in the first part of the year – but this outflow was roughly double what industry analysts had anticipated.