Air Partner regains lost ground, EADS and Boeing continue tanker squabble – Suppliers Share Wrap


After reporting a 90% slide in full year pretax profit on 14-Oct-2009, UK private air leasing company Air Partner has regained much of the share price falls since its earnings announcement.

After losing nearly 10% and slumping to a one-month low of 550 pence per share on 15-Oct-2009, the stock has gained 8% from the low, including 7.4% at the end of trading on Friday.

Despite the fall in profit, Air Partner remains confident, after coming off four record annual profits. According to CEO, David Savile, the "driving forces of globalisation, economic growth and deterioration in commercial airline services" will support a recovery in the private leasing sector in the medium term.

Other lessors were again mixed, with Aircastle down 3.7%, continuing the downward run for the stock since mid-Sep-2009. Babcock and Brown Air was down 0.2%, while Aercap and Genesis Lease gained 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. Regional lessor, Aerocentury, gained 4.0%.

Questions raised over tanker pricing

Meanwhile, squabbling is already beginning to hamper the next round of the EADS/Northrup Grumman vs Boeing competition for the US Air Force's USD35 billion aerial refueling tanker contract. Boeing has refused to allow the US Department of Defence to release pricing information on its contract submission, after Northrop raised concerns that it has been disadvantaged by the Air Force's releasing its pricing data to Boeing.

The tanker competition is entering it third iteration, with a draft request for proposals issued by the US Air Force on 25-Sep-2009.

Boeing lost 2.3% at the close of trading on Friday, while EADS was up 1.2%.

Selected Aviation suppliers' daily share price movements (% change): 23-Oct-09

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