Boeing Frontiers
July 2002 
Volume 01, Issue 03 
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Focus on Finance
Keeping an eye on credit ratings

While anyone who has ever wanted to borrow money has given thought to his or her credit rating, imagine how important it is when you're borrowing billions of dollars.

The borrowers in this case are Boeing and Boeing Capital Corporation, which had combined debt of $12.9 billion as of March 31, 2002. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Not for a company the size of Boeing.

Debt is an integral part of the overall funding profile for any corporation. It helps provide the cash for investments that, in turn, generate increased revenues and profits. Examples are funding plant equipment or machinery, product development, or even acquisitions.


The high cost of doing business in the U.S.

A study by KPMG comparing business costs in nine industrial countries found that the United States is one of the most expensive, while Canada and the United Kingdom are the least costly. In "Competitive Alternatives," a study released earlier this year, the accounting and tax firm measured 27 business operations factors, including labor, taxes and utility costs, in North America, Europe and Japan. The U.S. ranked seventh highest in cost out of nine countries. In aerospace, one of several industries covered in the KPMG study, the U.S. is the most expensive for precision parts, electronic subassemblies and plastic components following Japan and Germany. While the KPMG study included only nations with comparable educational and technology levels, a recent editorial in Interavia Business & Technology suggests that "emerging economic powers" such as Russia, India and China "may very well offer a golden opportunity to continue reducing the cost of aerospace products and by doing so assist the aerospace industry to expand its markets."

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