Boeing Notes: Quarterly Earnings, Production Rates and Southwest Hole

According to Bloomberg Boeing announced its quarterly results on Wednesday and the company used the post-earnings conference call to field questions and address a variety of issues ranging from production rates to the Southwest Airlines 737 incident earlier this month where a hole blow open on the roof of the plane while it was in flight.

Numbers wise, Boeing posted an increase of 13% in profit during the first quarter as revenue fell slightly, declining by 2%.

787 with Mt. Rainer in the backgorund (photo provided by Boeing)

On the 787 front, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney told reporters that the plane remains on track for a third quarter delivery and the plane has finished nearly 95% of the required testing for certification. McNerney wasn’t as confident that Boeing would be able to meet its goal to deliver 20 787s by years end and said that a dozen seemed to be more likely as the company re-works the planes coming of the assembly line and implements design changes that have come up during the testing phase.

Overall, Boeing expects production to increase by 40% over the next three years with Dreamliner production reaching 10 per month in 2013. Boeing expects to deliver 485-500 planes this year, an increase over the 462 it delivered last year.

Finally, McNerney also commented on the Southwest Airlines 737 hole incident that occurred earlier in the month. McNerney admitted that the blame seems to be related to the 737 itself and not Southwest but that the issue appeared to be a workmanship issue and not a design flaw present in the rest of the fleet Reuters reported.

Other notable tidbits from the call include:

  • The 747-8 Freighter remains on target for a mid-year delivery to its first customer.
  • 777 deliveries declined from 19 to 13 compared to the same quarter last year.
  • No new information on the future of the 737. Boeing plans to continue to look into its options and announce later this year.
  • 787 modifications will take place through next year until 787s will be able to roll off the assembly line without needing major changes.
  • While the Rolls Royce powered 787s are 95% through testing, the GE planes are through 75%.


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