Business

January 30, 2013

Boeing focuses on 787 fix; fourth quarter profit tops estimate

Boeing said Jan. 30 that its top priority this year is fixing the battery problems that grounded its 787.

The company made the pledge while reporting a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates, as rising profits from commercial jets offset a smaller profit from defense work.

The 50 787s in service were grounded two weeks ago by global aviation regulators following two incidents involving the plane’s lithium-ion batteries, including a fire on a plane parked in Boston. Jan. 30, Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chief executive, said the company believes “good progress is being made” in narrowing down the possible causes. Still, Boeing is not making any predictions about how long the grounding will last and federal officials have said the investigation of the battery problems is still in the early stages.

Earlier, U.S. aviation officials said they have asked Boeing for a full operating history of the batteries on the 787s. Japan’s All Nippon Airways confirmed that it had replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft 10 times because they didn’t charge properly or connections with electrical systems failed. Japan Airlines also said it had replaced 787 batteries. Between them, the two airlines operate 24 787s.

In a statement, Boeing said that it has not “seen 787 battery replacements occurring as a result of safety concerns.”

Boeing is still building 787s even though deliveries are halted. It still aims to deliver at least 60 of the planes this year, and it’s on track to speed up production from five per month now to 10 per month by the end of the year, McNerney said on a conference call.

Boeing said it expects to deliver 635 to 645 commercial jets this year. That’s up from 601 deliveries in 2012, when Boeing delivered 46 787s and topped European rival Airbus for the first time since 2003. Airbus expects to deliver more than 600 planes this year.

Boeing earned $978 million in the latest quarter, or $1.28 per share. That was down 30 percent from a profit of $1.39 billion, or $1.84 per share, a year earlier, which included a big tax benefit of 52 cents per share.

The profit topped the $1.19 per share expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $22.3 billion, matching analyst estimates.

Boeing Co. predicted 2013 earnings of $5 to $5.20 per share, with revenue of $82 billion to $85 billion. The outlook assumes “no significant financial impact” from the 787 being out of service.

Analysts had been expecting a 2013 profit of $5.17 per share on revenue of $88.13 billion.

For all of 2012, net income fell 3 percent to $3.9 billion, or $5.11 per share. Revenue rose 19 percent to $81.7 billion.

Last year’s deliveries of its new 787 as well as its revamped 747-8 brought in cash — the 787 lists for more than $200 million each — but they actually hurt profits because the planes cost more to build than what Boeing collects. Profit margins for commercial planes shrank slightly, even as revenue rose 32 percent to $14.16 billion in the fourth quarter, and profits rose 29 percent to $1.27 billion.

Boeing is also faced with a slowdown in its defense business. Defense profits fell 13 percent to $751 million in the fourth quarter. Defense revenue fell 2 percent to $8.34 billion.

The 787 is the first airliner to make wide use of lithium-ion batteries. They are prone to overheating and require additional safeguards to prevent fires.

Boeing said Jan. 30 that replacing batteries on a plane is not uncommon. It said batteries on the 787s are being returned because of safety mechanisms that make sure that batteries can’t be used if they have been deeply-discharged or improperly disconnected.

Some batteries have also been returned because they exceeded their shelf life, the company said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Raytheon wins $46 million contract for South Korean Global Hawk ground stations

Raytheon has been awarded a contract valued at up to $45.7 million by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for ground segments in support of four Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems recently purchased by the Republic of Korea. Under this contract, Raytheon will deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea. Work...
 
 

TOW 2A RF missiles successfully fired from helicopter

In the first of its kind launch, Raytheon fired tube-launched, optically-tracked, wireless-guided 2A radio frequency practice missiles from an AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter during a December exercise.  Raytheon, working with the Naval Air Systems Command, fired two TOW 2A RF practice missiles at ranges exceeding 2600 meters. The two tests verified the missile’s capability to...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 

 

Boeing, ANA finalize order for three 787-10 Dreamliners

Boeing and All Nippon Airways (ANA) today finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $900 million at list prices. With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes Boeing’s newest 787-10 customer and first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners. “We truly appreciate...
 
 

Poland’s MESKO, Raytheon sign second letter of intent

In a move designed to collaborate and share advanced defense technologies, Raytheon’s Missile Systems business signed a Letter of Intent with MESKO, Poland’s leading missile and ammunition manufacturer. Areas of cooperation focus on Raytheon’s solutions for the KRAB howitzer precision fires and new Polish Attack Helicopter, including offset proposals and opportunities for MESK...
 
 

Airbus Group delivers first new UH-72A Lakota for Army initial-entry trainer mission

Airbus Group March 25 delivered to the U.S. Army the first UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line configured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter. The aircraft will join seven Lakotas previously in the Army inventory that have already been modified to the training configuration...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>