March 20, 2008 in Business

First 787 flight faces more delay

The Spokesman-Review

Design changes to part of the wing of Boeing Co.‘s new 787 jetliner might further delay its first flight, according to the head of an aircraft leasing company that has ordered 74 planes.

Boeing’s shares sank $3.08, or 4 percent, to close at $73.45.

Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of International Lease Finance Corp., a Los Angeles subsidiary of American International Group Inc., told investors at a JP Morgan conference Tuesday that he expects the first 787 flight won’t occur until fall and the first delivery will be postponed to the end of the third quarter of 2009.

Udvar-Hazy said he believes structural design changes to the 787’s center wing box, which will then require retrofits of the first several planes produced, are behind the potential delay. The center wing box is a key piece that connects the jetliner’s wing to the fuselage and holds fuel.

Boeing has said its goal is to send the 787 on its first flight by the end of June, and deliver the first plane to All Nippon Airways in early 2009.

Nike Inc.‘s third-quarter profit jumped more than 30 percent because of strong sales overseas and beneficial currency exchanges, the athletic shoe and apparel giant said Wednesday.

Nike said its net income grew to $463.8 million, or 92 cents per share, up from $350.8 million, or 68 cents per share, in the same quarter of the prior year.

Revenue for the fiscal quarter grew 16 percent to $4.54 billion, up from $3.93 billion. Changes in currency exchange rates accounted for 6 percentage points of revenue growth for the quarter.

The results exceeded Wall Street’s projections. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 81 cents per share on revenue of $4.36 billion.

Apple Inc. is negotiating with record labels to give iPhone and iPod customers access to the entire iTunes music library if they pay extra for the devices.

The Financial Times is reporting that the sticking point in the talks is how much Cupertino-based Apple will pay the record labels for the access. The newspaper cites unnamed music industry sources for Wednesday’s report.

Apple declined to comment.

Discover Financial Services LLC said Wednesday its first-quarter profit fell 65 percent to $81.2 million after shedding its card business in Britain and preparing for more defaults from U.S. cardholders.

Excluding the U.K. unit sale, the credit card lender posted a profit of $239 million, or 50 cents per share. That surpassed the average analyst forecast for 40 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

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