Bombardier Inc. shares fell further on Friday, hitting a six-year low at one point, after plunging 26 per cent Thursday on rising concerns over liquidity and the pausing of a new business-jet program.
Standard & Poor's credit rating agency downgraded the Montreal-based plane and train maker's ratings to single-B-plus from double-B-minus after Bombardier warned of lower-than-expected cash flow for 2014, pricing pressures on new aircraft and other factors.
Several financial analysts reduced their share-price targets. Bombardier shares changed hands on the Toronto Stock Exchange as low as $2.70 before bouncing back slightly to close at $2.89, down 18 cents or 5.9 per cent.
"The negative outlook reflects our view that Bombardier's 2015 performance could remain challenged due to market conditions and the company's continued large capital spend program, leading to weaker credit protection measures than we previously forecast," S&P said Friday.
"Furthermore, the outlook incorporates our opinion that, given Bombardier's current leverage and debt-to-cash flow metrics, there remains very limited room for delays on project execution or margin deterioration."
Bombardier said on Thursday that it is suspending manufacturing work on its new Learjet 85, resulting in the slashing of about 1,000 jobs in Mexico and Kansas.
The company said it needs to focus on development of its all-new C Series jet in the 100- to 150-seat category, a huge gamble that involves going directly up against giants Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS; it is also continuing with some business-jet platform revamps.
A total of $1.4-billion (U.S.) in special charges related to the impairment of development costs of the Learjet 85 program will be taken, Bombardier said on Thursday.
And cash flow from the aerospace unit will fall to $800-million from previous forecasts of $1.2-billion to $1.6-billion, it said.
RBC Dominion Securities analyst Walter Spracklin said in a research note that "we would be very cautious until we see clarity on the balance sheet management strategy and details on the 2015 [financial] guidance to be released Feb. 12."
A debt offering of between $500-million and $1-billion would be one way for Bombardier to ensure adequate liquidity, however the company would probably have to settle for less attractive terms, he said.
The Learjet 85, with a range of 3,000 nautical miles and standard capacity for eight passengers, is "either a large small-cabin or a small mid-cabin jet, and this is increasingly a crowded space," Mr. Spracklin noted.
Bombardier said on Thursday that it has sufficient liquidity to continue operating and fund the C Series and other platforms, with $2.4-billion in cash on hand and access to another $1.4-billion of credit as of Dec. 31, 2014.