Bombardier Inc. president and chief executive Pierre Beaudoin says he isn't shaken by the dramatic plunge in the company's share price last week and apparent loss of confidence on the part of many investors over the latest aerospace setbacks.
"I've always said it's about investing in the long term in Bombardier. We're doing long-term projects and I'm quite upbeat with the fact that some of these projects we've been working on for some time are going to be delivering results," Mr. Beaudoin said in an interview from Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.
"We're looking for long-term investors that believe in our product and we have $70-billion (U.S.) of backlog, so it should indicate that there is great growth for our company," he said during a break from events at the World Economic Forum.
The Montreal-based plane and train maker said last week that it is indefinitely delaying its new Learjet 85 program, laying off about 1,000 people and revising downward its financial guidance for 2014.
The shares fell 26 per cent and many analysts raised concerns over Bombardier's ability to meet its financing requirements for its new C Series commercial jetliner and Global 7000/8000 business jet.
"We have $3.8-billion of liquidity, $2.4-billion of cash and access to a $1.4-billion line of credit. We've said already we are in a good position to complete our projects," Mr. Beaudoin said.
"I'm not going to speculate on analysts' speculation."
Several analysts have said the company will likely need to raise more than $1-billion in debt this year to meet its financial requirements.
"Combine the liquidity that we have – $3.8-billion is a large amount of money – combined with the operating cash flow from our businesses. If you combine the two we have the necessary liquidity to complete our projects," Mr. Beaudoin said.
Mr. Beaudoin, the grandson of company founder and snowmobile-maker Joseph-Armand Bombardier, said he does not expect the Learjet 85 – at the large end of the small-plane category – to suffer because of its delayed launch.
"Go and see the size of this market. That market is cut by more than 50 per cent since 2008. I think we have a good product but there's no immediate rush to get it to market because the market is very soft."
However, some industry observers dispute that analysis and say the market is not all that bad these days.
Asked if selling the Learjet division is a possibility, he replied: "Learjet has more than 2,000 aircraft in service. It's a good business. I don't see a reason to do that."
The spate of senior executive departures recently is not worrisome, he added.
"I don't think there is any significance to point to there."
Davos is a major opportunity to meet customers, such as governments in the market for trains or airlines looking at new product, not to mention bankers, Mr. Beaudoin said.
And of course, there are the CEOs.
"You can imagine with all the CEOs from around the world, it's really a good place to meet customers."