Boeing's jetliner deliveries slowed in April

Thu May 8, 2014 4:02pm EDT
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By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co's (BA.N: Quote) pace of commercial airplane deliveries slowed to 56 in April, or 10 fewer than the month before, keeping it under the target needed to meet its annual delivery forecast.

The company remained the world's biggest plane maker, however, besting the 52 jets that rival Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) delivered in the month.

Investors watch jet deliveries because Boeing and Airbus receive the bulk of the cash for jet sales when customers fly them home. Boeing investors are particularly keen to see deliveries rise to supply cash for share buybacks and dividends and to work off $25 billion in deferred costs associated with the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing's April delivery decline mainly reflected the fact that it delivered 39 narrow-body 737s, down from 44 in March.

The company also delivered just eight 787s and eight 777s in April, down from 10 each in March, and it delivered one 747, down from two in March.

Boeing said the delivery decline from March was less significant than the growth in output over the last year. The company noted that it delivered 12 more planes in the latest month than in April 2013, reflecting rising production rates.

"Month-to-month variability is normal and is dependent on factors such as customer preference for deliveries," said spokesman Chaz Bickers.

Boeing still expects to deliver 715 to 725 commercial airplanes this year, he added.   Continued...

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young