UPDATE 3-Plane supplier Spirit AeroSystems posts higher profit

Thu May 2, 2013 1:26pm EDT

* First-quarter EPS 57 cents vs estimate 46 cents

* New CEO says curbing costs will be focus

* Shares up 2.1 percent

May 2 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, a supplier to Boeing and other jet makers, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as parts deliveries rose.

The maker of structures for wings and fuselages, which in March named former Lockheed Martin executive Larry Lawson as president and chief executive, said on Thursday it planned a review of programs in four locations and would not update its financial outlook at this time.

"We're looking at all aspects of the business and we're not leaving any element of it untouched," Lawson said during a conference call. He added that Spirit would focus on driving down operating costs.

Spirit, which is Boeing's biggest supplier of fuselages and wing parts, is poised to benefit from an upswing in commercial plane production. The company has recorded charges in past quarters tied to cost overruns on certain plane programs, including the 787 Dreamliner.

"It was really the first clean quarter without write-offs that (Spirit) has reported in quite some time," Michael Callahan, a senior aerospace analyst with Topeka Capital Markets, said of the first quarter.

While the business that handles work on the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 narrowbody planes is performing well, questions remain about how Spirit will fare with newer programs such as the 787 and Gulfstream G650 and G280 business jet programs, he said.

"The big risk is whether or not they are going to essentially miss the entire cycle of commercial production because of these development programs," Callahan added.

Net income for Spirit AeroSystems came to $81 million, or 57 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $74 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected profit of 46 cents a share on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased 14 percent to $1.44 billion. Overall deliveries of components for planes and business jets rose 11 percent in the quarter, and deliveries for large Boeing aircraft programs were up 9 percent.

Shares of Spirit AeroSystems were up 2.1 percent to $20.15 in afternoon trading.

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