Boeing posts loss, hurt by strike

January 28, 2009 10:20:24 AM PST
Boeing, the world's second-largest airplane maker, has swung to a surprise fourth-quarter loss. It was hurt by a strike that disrupted deliveries. It also forecasts 2009 earnings shy of Wall Street expectations.

The results come on top of waning demand for the company's commercial jets. Airlines are cutting spending and air travel has declined amid the global economic slowdown. Boeing recently said it plans to cut about 4,500 positions, or about 3 percent of its work force, as a result of the worsening market conditions.

The Chicago-based company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $56 million, or 8 cents per share. Results were dragged down by charges totaling $1.79 per share, including the effects of a now-settled machinists strike and delayed deliveries of 747 jets.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected earnings of 78 cents in the fourth quarter. Those estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Commercial jet orders declined by half in 2008, after three consecutive years of exceptionally strong growth. Still, the aerospace company has orders for a record 3,700 planes.

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