A feature report.
By Bjorn Fehrm
March 15, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Spirit AeroSystems is the world’s largest aerostructures supplier, with main facilities in Wichita (KS). I visited Wichita early March and was given a guided tour of the factories. It was a tour of contrasts.
In production hall two, the Boeing 737 fuselages are riveted together in much the same way as the Boeing B-29 Stratofortress was produced there during World War II. “Rosie the riveter” is replaced with a robot, but the hall still has a busy charm.
In another hall, the production is silent. The winding of the Boeing Dreamliner’s forward fuselage from rolls of tape is made with a swooshing sound. There are few people around; the machines rule. Everything is mega large; tape-layers, tools, autoclaves, the lot. Read more
Nov. 16, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The market sell off yesterday of Boeing stock appeared on the surface to be a reaction to the news that United Airlines is deferring 61 737-700s and switching these to four larger 737-800s and the balance to either the 737-8 or 737-9.
Boeing’s stock today remains flat-to-down slightly.
An odd thing happened concurrent to Boeing’s stock decline.
After a short dip, stock of Spirit Aerosystems recovered to the level before the UAL news and remained there through the time of this writing. Spirit makes the 737 fuselages. If Boeing’s stock was hit by the United decision, then logic suggests Spirit’s stock should have been, too.
This suggests the Boeing’s sell off has other reasons.
Oct. 11, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The 11th 737-8 MAX is already on the Boeing production line at the factory in Renton (WA).
This one is for Lion Air, the Indonesian Low Cost Carrier that’s ordered 201 of the airplanes.
Previous 737-8s that already are built are also for LCCs Southwest Airlines of the USA.
The initial line up of customers scheduled to receive the MAXes next year is in stark contrast to decades ago when the names on the sides of the airplanes would be American, United, Lufthansa or Japan Air Lines. It’s illustrative to the changing airline industry.
June 22, 2016: Our weekly synopsis of select analyst notes point to increasing fuel costs and weak wide-body demand, among other things, as issues to consider.
July 29, 2015: Spirit Aerosystems, whose principal business is a major OEM supplier to Boeing but which also makes fuselage panels for the Airbus A350, reported lower revenues but higher profits for the FY2Q2015.
The press release is here.
Revenues were down because the company sold its Gulfstream wing sector and lower revenues were recognized from the Boeing 787 program.
“Preparing for aircraft rate increases is a key focus for us this year. Near term, we are capitalizing to increase the production rate of the 787 to 12 shipsets per month and the 737 to 47 shipsets per month, as well as the higher production rates on the A320 and A350 programs,” said Larry Lawson, CEO.
Wells Fargo has this initial reaction: