Boeing shares up despite big drop in earnings, challenging outlook


Boeing shares rose 1.8% in trading yesterday, despite the manufacturer's announcement of a 50% drop in net profit in 1Q09 and a 7% reduction to its full-year earnings forecast, due to lower price expectations. The full year forecast is on the high side of market expectations, although the company has admitted that it is facing an "unprecedented" challenge, due to the global economic downturn.

Boeing is looking to cut spending and restructure some of its business, including cutting production rates of some models and defer ramp-up plans for production rates of others.

Orders for 32 aircraft (all B787s) were cancelled in the quarter, as well as 60 deferrals "across all regions and models", which are pushing some aircraft orders back into 2011 and beyond. More deferrals are expected. It booked 28 orders in the quarter, and delivered 121 aircraft.

The company also announced it expects its delayed B787 to commence flight testing in 2Q2009, although it has forecast "modest levels of order churn" for the type. It expects to deliver the first aircraft in 1Q2010, as planned under its revised schedule. Boeing has almost 900 orders for the new twin-engine widebody.

Airbus parent, EADS, rose 3.3% on the news of the Boeing results and production cuts, while Embraer, the world's third largest aircraft manufacturer, rose 1.4%. Rolls Royce fell 0.9% yesterday.

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Selected aviation suppliers' daily share price movements (% change): 22-Apr-09

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