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Boeing Loses $1.6b In Midst Of 787 Mess

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 4:19am
Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer

Boeing Co. lost $1.6 billion in the third quarter as charges from its delayed 787 and revamped 747 dragged down results. Those charges also forced the airplane maker to slash this year's profit forecast.

Shares of the Chicago-based company fell $1.22, or 2.4 percent, to $50.67 in pre-market trade after results were announced Wednesday.

Boeing, the world's second-largest commercial plane maker after Europe's Airbus, has struggled with a series of setbacks: production problems have delayed its eagerly awaited 787 passenger aircraft and a bigger version of its 747 jumbo jet, resulting in charges from write-downs and penalties.

Those charges, which were expected, led the company to cut its 2009 profit forecast to $1.35 to $1.55 per share, down from $4.70 to $5 per share. Analysts had predicted $1.53.

Weak demand for air travel and cargo services has undermined demand for Boeing's jetliners since the global economy deteriorated late last year. Some customers have been forced to cancel or delay plans to buy new aircraft.

Boeing's quarterly loss amounted to $2.23 per share. That compared with earnings of $695 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier, when a labor strike and problems with suppliers reduced profit by 60 cents per share and gutted revenue by an estimated $2.1 billion.

However, sales in the company's defense business, which makes fighter jets, satellites and security systems, lifted revenue 9 percent to $16.69 billion in the latest quarter.

Analysts expected a loss of $2.12 per share on revenue of $17.16 billion. Wall Street estimates typically exclude one-time charges.

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