WICHITA — Spirit AeroSystems reported today that in the third quarter it had revenue of $1 billion and a profit of $46 million, down from revenue of $1.1 billion and profit of $87 million in the same period last year.
"Our core businesses continue to perform well and the market for large commercial airplanes remains strong," said CEO Jeff Turner, in a news release. "We are making plans to increase core business production rates while we continue to implement our long-term diversification strategy by developing new products."
The company reported that its earnings generated 33 cents a share.
Spirit has made good progress on new programs under development this year, Turner said in a conference call with analysts. Long term, those programs will contribute positively to the company.
But in the short term, their execution is the company's biggest challenge, Turner said .
For example, engineering costs on work for Gulfstream's G250 business jet and the nacelles for the Gulfstream G650 have grown. And costs to support test hardware schedules on Sikorsky's CH-53K helicopter program were higher.
Spirit is also working on changes to the Boeing 787, although the complexity of the changes has abated substantially, Turner said.
The company has a lot of changes and work to get done on the 787, "but not in the level or the amount of work that we've seen in the past," he said.
If 787 production rates continue where they are and rise according to the plan, that will be good for Spirit's financial performance, Turner said.
"But if there's something out there in all of this that would delay the production ramp up, then that puts a lot of pressure on us," he said.
Spirit is also preparing to increase 737 production rates and making investments where needed to meet projected increases, Turner said.
Spirit's backlog at the end of the third quarter was $28.2 billion, up about 4 percent, the company said, as the market for commercial aerospace — particularly for single-aisle aircraft — continues to improve, the company said.
The company updated its revenue guidance for the year to between $4.0 billion and $4.1 billion based on Boeing's 2010 delivery expectations of 460 aircraft, including delivery of 787 aircraft, Airbus deliveries of about 500 planes and other factors.