UPDATE 2-Spirit Aero beats Street as aircraft makers boost production

Fri May 2, 2014 10:24am EDT

* First-quarter revenue $1.73 bln vs est $1.60 bln

* Adjusted earnings/share $0.84 vs est $0.63

* Keeps 2014 revenue, profit forecast

* Shares rise as much as 6 pct (Adds analyst comment, details, background)

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

May 2 (Reuters) - Aircraft components maker Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc reported quarterly results way above analysts' estimates as its customers, Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV, boosted production to meet surging demand for large planes.

Shares of Spirit Aero, spun off from Boeing in 2005, rose as much as 6 percent on Friday morning.

Spirit said revenue in its fuselage systems business, the company's largest, jumped 19 percent to $858 million in the first quarter ended April 3 as aircraft production rose.

Sales at the company's propulsion systems and wing systems businesses also increased.

"This was a very strong quarter for Spirit, which is an encouraging sign after the kitchen-sink charges in the last quarter," RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall wrote in a note titled "As clean as it gets!"

Spirit had reported a surprise loss in the fourth quarter due to charges tied to its Boeing 787 Dreamliner program as it underpriced its contracts.

The company on Friday maintained its 2014 forecast of earning $2.50-$2.65 per share on revenue of $6.5 billion-$6.7 billion.

Analysts on average expect earnings of $2.60 per share on revenue of $6.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Boeing and Airbus expect aircraft demand to reach over $4 trillion over the next 20 years. (r.reuters.com/zag98v)

Boeing is currently making 42 of its 737 jetliners every month, up from 38 in October, and expects to raise that to 47 by 2017. (r.reuters.com/ceg98v)

The company's quarterly net income nearly doubled to $153.6 million, or $1.07 per share, from $81.2 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.

The profit includes benefits of 31 cents per share related to the Malaysian tax holiday and deferred tax valuation allowance and a charge of 8 cents from debt refinancing.

Excluding these costs, Spirit earned 84 cents per share.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $1.73 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 63 cents per share on revenue of $1.60 billion.

The company's shares were up 5.2 percent at $32 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning. They have gained more than 50 percent in the past year, compared with an about 42 percent rise in the Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace and Defense index . (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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