Aviation

Spirit had positive 2010

Spirit AeroSystems recorded gains in revenue and net income in 2010, the Wichita-based aircraft supplier said Thursday. "We executed well across the company" in 2010, Spirit CEO Jeff Turner said Thursday in a conference call with analysts.

Turner said the company is implementing plans to raise production rates "as the global market for commercial aircraft continues to improve."

"Looking ahead our company is financially strong and in a solid competitive position," he said.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.071 billion compared with $1.078 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Net income was $62 million compared with $50 million in fourth quarter 2009.

For the year, revenue was $4.17 billion, up from $4.07 billion in 2009. Net income was $219 million compared with $192 million.

Spirit's backlog at the end of the fourth quarter was $28.3 billion, up slightly from $28 billion in the same quarter in 2009.

Turner said he is optimistic about the agreement Spirit reached with Boeing on claims related to the development and production of the 787 program, which has hurt Spirit because of repeated delays. The Dreamliner program is three years behind schedule.

Spirit designs and builds the Dreamliner's composite forward fuselage, engine pylons and wing leading edge components.

Spirit did not detail the specifics of the agreement with Boeing, which was reached last month, but "we're feeling very solid about the path forward," Turner said.

He said the company is not as financially exposed to another new airplane development program it is involved in, the Airbus A350XWB.

"But we're not going to manage out all of the risk of any development program," Turner said.

Spirit will make the center fuselage, front spar and the fixed leading edge of the wing for Airbus' newest airliner.

The company said its revenue guidance for 2011 is between $4.5 billion and $4.7 billion. That's based on Boeing and Airbus' delivery projections for 2011 as well as internal Spirit forecasts and foreign exchange rates.

"This is a growth cycle in commercial aerospace, and we're gearing up for it," Phil Anderson, Spirit's chief financial officer, told analysts.

Spirit shares closed Thursday at $24.87. That's down 3 cents, or 0.1 percent. In the past year it has traded between $16.68 and $25.21.

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