Boeing Frontiers
May 2003
Volume 02, Issue 01
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Focus on Finance
Goodwill hunting

Boeing on April 23 reported a first-quarter loss of $478 million. Yet the company also said the underlying performance of the company's aerospace businesses was strong.

These seemingly paradoxical statements stem in large part from a noncash charge of $913 million due to the impairment of goodwill. It is important to note that this type of charge has no effect on current-period cash flow or the day-to-day operations of the company. These noncash charges can obscure the fact that Boeing continues to perform well.


Changes in reporting boost transparency

As of Jan. 1, Boeing changed how it reports certain operating segments in an effort to further enhance transparency and investor understanding of the company's financial results. Among the changes:

  • Boeing Integrated Defense Systems reported results in four business-related segments: Aircraft and Weapon Systems; Support Systems; Network Systems; and Launch and Orbital Systems.
  • Boeing Commercial Airplanes changed from reporting operating earnings on a unit-cost basis to a program-accounting basis. The basic difference: Unit-cost reporting determines the cost of sales based on the discrete cost of the individual airplane, while program accounting determines cost of sales based on the average cost of sales over the airplane program accounting quantity.
  • Boeing Capital Corporation began reporting segment earnings from operations net of financing-related interest costs.


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