Spirit AeroSystems reported strong second-quarter earnings Wednesday, despite Boeing’s continuing problems with the 737 Max.
Spirit says revenue was $2 billion, up 10 percent year over year in the second quarter, and earnings per share were up 23 percent. Both figures exceeded Wall Street expectations.
Boeing is Spirit’s largest customer, and the 737 makes up the bulk of work at Spirit’s plant in south Wichita. Boeing reported a second-quarter loss of nearly $3 billion dollars last week, its worst quarter ever.
The 737 Max was grounded after two fatal crashes in the last nine months killed more than 300 people. Boeing officials hope the plane will be cleared to fly again this fall.
Because of the grounding, Spirit has cut costs through shortened work weeks for some employees, a voluntary retirement plan, reduced overtime and a hiring freeze.
"While we implemented these cost-reduction actions in the second quarter and are tracking to plan, the financial benefits will be realized beginning in the second half of the year,” Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile said in a statement. “These financial benefits will carry into the future as our resources become better aligned with our production rate and future schedule."
Spirit's backlog at the end of the second quarter of 2019 was approximately $46 billion.
The company also announced that its acquisition of Asco Industries has been delayed until October because of a cyberattack on the Belgian company. Asco designs and builds assemblies and components for commercial and large business aircraft.
Spirit is Wichita's largest private employer. It has more than 15,000 employees worldwide, including more than 12,000 in Wichita.
Tom Shine is director of news and public affairs at KMUW.