NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst who covers Boeing Co. on Friday said the aerospace giant's latest delivery figures bode ill for fourth-quarter earnings, while another stood by his earnings estimates and "Buy" rating for the stock on a more optimistic take for the company's productivity.
Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr said Chicago-based Boeing's November commercial deliveries were a mere four aircraft, surprisingly low considering that plant workers approved a new contract on Nov. 3 and were required to return to their jobs a week later.
"Even with the Thanksgiving holiday, Boeing had over two and a half weeks to start recovery from the strike with lots of planes near completion going into the work stoppage," he wrote in client note. "Thus, we would have expected 15-20 deliveries in November."
Specifically, von Rumohr lowered the number of aircraft expected to be delivered this year to "a bit under" 375 from his earlier estimate of 388. The analyst trimmed his earnings-per-share estimate for the fourth quarter to 67 cents from 72 cents and reiterated his "Neutral" rating on the shares. He sees full-year earnings per share at $4.40.
Jefferies analyst Howard Rubel, however, reiterated his "Buy" rating on a more sanguine view of Boeing's prospects. Specifically, he stood by his 2008 delivery estimate of 376, saying that that "estimate is a bit tight though not unachievable."
"Given the (Thanksgiving) holidays, but offset by the fact that there are a number of partially completed aircraft, our estimate is a bit tight though not unachievable," he wrote.
He sees full-year earnings per share at $4.60.
Analysts expect, on average, full-year earnings per share of $4.69, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing may delay the first deliveries of its of long-awaited 787 Dreamliner by at least six more months due to a recent strike by union workers and other production glitches.