UPDATE 2-Spirit AeroSystems delays earnings, to shed Oklahoma unit

Tue Aug 6, 2013 2:23pm EDT
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* Second-quarter results to be reported at later date

* Oklahoma operations seen as earnings drag

* Another big charge expected for Q2

* Shares down 5 pct

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, a supplier of parts to Boeing Co and Airbus, on Tuesday said it plans to sell its Oklahoma operations and delayed its quarterly earnings report.

The company, which is looking to drive down expenses after past stumbles with cost overruns on airplane programs, said it expects to record a big charge to second quarter earnings, which it had been due to report on Tuesday. Its shares fell nearly 3 percent.

Spun off from Boeing in 2005, Spirit makes critical parts for popular planes such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 as well as wing parts for Bombardier and Gulfstream business jets. The company's sales are benefiting from rising commercial aircraft production, and Spirit added second quarter sales rose 13 percent to $1.52 billion.

Cost overruns have hurt profitability in recent years. Spirit said it expects to take a pretax charge of $350 million to $400 million against second-quarter results related to anticipated cost increases from 2014 to 2021 in Gulfstream business jet programs.

The Oklahoma operations in Tulsa and McAlester slated for divestiture employ 3,000 workers, nearly 20 percent of Spirit's total workforce of about 16,000. The facilities handle wing design for the Gulfstream G280 and G650 business jets and development of wing parts for the Boeing 737, 777 and 787.   Continued...