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Turnaround plan saves Boeing's satellite unit
Posted: Thu, Apr 29, 2004, 9:16 AM ET (1316 GMT)
Boeing Despite a loss reported by Boeing's space division in its fiscal first quarter, company officials said they continue to back the unit and have no plans to shut down its struggling satellite division. Boeing's Launch and Orbital Systems division reported a loss of $63 million on $808 million in revenue in the quarter ending March 31, according to results released Wednesday, compared to a $593 million loss on $658 million in revenue in the same quarter of 2003. The company credited the revenue increase on higher satellite volumes as well as the "termination for convenience" of an unidentified commercial satellite project. Cost growth in satellite programs offset profits in its NASA programs. During a conference call with analysts later Wednesday Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher admitted that when he took over the company last December he expected to have to shut down Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS). However, he said BSS has a turnaround the plan that will make the division profitable by 2005 and put it in the top quartile of all of Boeing's divisions by 2008. By that time two-thirds of BSS's business will be military with the remainder commercial. Company officials didn't offer any insights into reports of additional investigations into improper bidding practices in the company's launch vehicle division, reported earlier this week, or when the existing ban on military launch contracts will be lifted.
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