UPDATE 2-Spirit Aero posts profit, says asset sale progressing

Fri Nov 1, 2013 2:43pm EDT
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* Cost-cutting aids third-quarter results

* Oklahoma sale process moving along, company says

* Shares up 7 pct

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, a major supplier of aircraft components to Boeing Co and Airbus, on Friday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it cut costs, and its shares rose 7.8 percent to a year high.

The company, whose profits have been hurt by cost overruns in recent years, is cutting staff this year to reduce costs . It is also selling assets such as Oklahoma operations that handle wing design for Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp, and some Boeing jets.

Chief Executive Larry Lawson, a former Lockheed Martin executive, said on Friday that Spirit is talking with potential buyers for the Oklahoma operations and added the sales process will likely extend into next year.

Spirit reported net income of $93.7 million, or 65 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 26, compared with a loss of $134.4 million, or 94 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected 60 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating costs fell about 8 percent.   Continued...