NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst warned Wednesday that profit margins for Boeing Co. may decline because the world's second-largest aerospace concern must check and possibly replace fasteners on its 787 airplanes, thus delaying the aircraft's delivery date.
The Seattle company discovered some fasteners had been "incorrectly installed and do not conform to specifications" on the new commercial aircraft, a spokesman said.
The fasteners that were incorrectly installed were not isolated to any particular part of the planes and represent less than 3 percent of the fasteners installed to date, he said.
Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr said Boeing must inspect about 350,000 fasteners on each of the 20-plus 787s under production.
That could mean that customers may not get the first aircraft until 2010, "paring" (Boeing's) profit margins. "This could pressure our 2009 earnings per share estimate of $5.90," Rumohr said.
He has a "Neutral" rating on the stock.
Jefferies analyst Howard Rubel had a more sanguine take on the issue and reiterated his "Buy" rating on the shares.
"The extent of the incremental delay is unknown and could be minor or not. The appropriate fasteners are available, so there should not be any further delay beyond the inspection and reassembly process. We expect that some subcontractor work will also need to be redone, but this should be addressed within a reasonable period of time."
Shares fell $1.24, or 2.3 percent, to $52.38 in premarket trading.