Boeing reports $478 million loss amid aviation slump; acquisitions slip in value

Wednesday, April 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Boeing Co., battered by the downturn in commercial aviation, reported Wednesday it lost $478 million in the first quarter after accounting for the sinking value of companies it bought.

The aerospace giant also said 2003 profits will be less than previously expected, despite strong results from its defense business.

The net loss amounted to 60 cents a share for the January-March period, compared with a loss of $1.25 billion, or $1.54 a share, a year earlier, when the company also recorded a hefty accounting change.

First-quarter results were weighed down by non-cash goodwill charges totaling $977 million after taxes. Of that, $818 million was for the reduced worth of companies Boeing bought and $159 million was for writedowns in its finance portfolio, reflecting the decline in airline customers' credit ratings, jet collateral values and a steep fall in aircraft lease rates.

Excluding those items, per-share earnings were 42 cents a share, or 10 cents higher than the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

But revenues fell 11 percent to $12.3 billion, from $13.8 billion.

Charges aside, Boeing attributed its decrease in operating income to its lower-than-planned 71 aircraft deliveries in the quarter and less pension income. It said it expects to deliver 280 airplanes for the year, which would be its lowest total since 1996.

Boeing revised its estimate for adjusted 2003 earnings to the $1.70-$1.90 range, down from $1.90-$2.10. The consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call was $1.86.