Conference call

I was in Chicago last week for an opportunity to talk with a vital audience about how Boeing views the commercial aviation market over the next 20 years - and about how we’re addressing that market.

Close to 200 representatives of major investment and securities-trading firms crowded into a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to hear our story and to ask probing questions at our annual Boeing Investors Conference.

It’s a big-deal event, as investors are hungry for updates on all aspects of the company’s business. Our senior executives, including CEO Jim McNerney, CFO James Bell, Integrated Defense Systems president Jim Albaugh and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Scott Carson, all gave detailed presentations. And there was also a fair amount of deep conversation at social events surrounding the conference.

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BCA president Scott Carson told investors last week that we remain focused on the customer, and on product development and production system execution.

The analysts and investment managers - whose jobs depend on choosing the right places to invest their clients’ money - were focused on three things: Does Boeing have the right strategies in place? Does Boeing have the right people in place to execute those strategies? And are those people getting the job done?

Well, as you know, our BCA product and services strategy is based around the concepts that people want to go where they want to go, when they want to get there, and that airlines want to accommodate those desires in the most efficient way possible. We’re building a family of airplanes that allows airlines to bring point-to-point service to the widest variety of markets at the widest variety of distance. And the success of our entire product line over the past couple of years testifies to the soundness of that strategy.

But when it comes down to whether this plan is going to continue to succeed, the financial analysts aren’t just taking our word for it. Scott Carson and Mike Bair (who leads the 787 program), couldn’t move from one part of a room to another without a crowd of analysts often coming back to the same question again: Are you getting the 787 Dreamliner done right?

And the answer is yes. The rollout of the Dreamliner (or “Premiere,” as we’re calling it) is just six weeks away. We hosted an event in Everett May 21 to celebrate the opening of our 787 assembly line. All the pieces that will be fit together to become the first Dreamliner are in place in the factory, and final assembly of that game-changing airplane is underway.

We’re on track, and on schedule, and we have plans in place that will help us deal with any issues that might come up. The message investors heard last week is that we continue on track for a 07-08-07 rollout, a first flight later this summer, and first delivery to launch customer ANA in May 2008.

I’m thinking investors got the message. And while I’ll keep my analysis on the airplane market and not on the stock market, I couldn’t help but notice that the share price for Boeing’s stock closed at all-time highs the day after the conference and again at the end of the week.

Comments (5)

G (France):

With almost six hundred 787 orders in May 2007, Boeing does not have any other option but to execute the production ramp up flawlessly. That's a huge responsibility!

At 150 millions US dollars per aircraft the orders sum up to 90 billions US dollars (a nine with ten trailing zeros).
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/prices/

Saj (London, UK):

I think that this should now firmly close the door on *all* rumours of the 787 being delayed, or whether it will be ready in time for rollout.

Far too much speculation has occured, inspite of news clearly to the contrary.

The focus should be, on the people behind the airplane, and the support they should receive for their hard work to make the 787 a reality.

Hats off to them, and I for one, cant wait to see the magic they make when that beauty emerges from behind the vast murals on the Everett factory come July 8!

Chris C (South Africa):

Well-done Boeing for listening carefully to your customers and investors and supply them with the most superior commercial airplanes – Boeing Commercial Airplanes! Boeing is designing an airplane family for the 21st Century: the right products, the right solutions, and the right philosophies. The 787 Dreamliner is the most important airplane of the 21st Century – the epitome of sheer excellence, efficiency and technology! All the best for continuing to execute your solid business plans effectively and successfully, and may Boeing head for forever-new frontiers!

Alberto Maya R.:

I want also to see this marvelous airliner out of the plant on next July 8.
Congratulations for the work done and I wish God be with you before the huge task you have ahead.

Sam (Malta):

Shame there has been no mention of the 737 reaching 7000 orders 2 days ago...

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