Randy's Journal: Archives
Gotta wear shades
There's some good stuff to take away from Boeing's third quarter earnings report today. And continuing good news perhaps for the local sunglasses business, too. I'll explain that in a minute.
But first, what the Boeing 3Q report essentially says about our commercial airplanes business is that the outlook remains strong.
We delivered 62 airplanes during a quarter in which we had to shut down production during a strike. That's compared to the 3Q of 2004 in which we delivered 67 airplanes. A lot of people have been asking exactly what impact the strike had on production. The answer is we had to defer 21 deliveries during the third quarter and will see a few more airplanes affected in the fourth quarter.
On the orders front, we saw 199 net orders this past quarter. Our total net orders through the end of the third quarter were 616 airplanes, a phenomenal number. That's three times as many orders as we had for the first nine months of 2004. You can see the updated orders and deliveries numbers on the Boeing Website.
So, you can't deny we've seen a lot of momentum this year. The 787 program has been winning a number of key customers. Since launch, we've captured 295 orders and commitments for Dreamliners from 24 customers - with Air New Zealand announcing two more just yesterday. There is continued strong interest as well in our 737 and 777 families.
This is all happening in the backdrop of a very mixed airline business climate. In some parts of the globe, mushrooming economies and increased travel are spurring airlines to expand or renew their fleets. But we've also seen how higher fuel prices are playing havoc with profits, especially here in the U.S.
Given that, Boeing forecasts a year-end total of approximately 290 airplane deliveries for 2005. That's up from the 285 deliveries in 2004, but lower than our previous guidance of 320 deliveries, due essentially to the production stoppage last month.
For 2006 deliveries, our forecast remains an increase to about 395 airplane deliveries, with deliveries in 2007 expected to be above the 2006 level.
We've been through a stormy period in the commercial airplanes market. Now the skies are clearing. So here in Seattle we're feeling a kind of cautious optimism. The kind you might expect you'd have in an often rainy town that nonetheless sells more sunglasses per capita than any other major city in the U.S.
Makes me think of the hit song from back in the '80s: "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades." I wouldn't necessarily go that far yet, but I'm keeping the sunglasses handy, for sure.