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Profits drop at Boeing’s defense unit

Boeing’s second-quarter profit fell 21 percent, and it said layoffs are likely in its defense business because of expected government spending cuts and bargain hunting.

Profits and revenue fell in both Boeing’s airplane and defense businesses. The commercial airplane downturn seems to be ending, with orders up sharply from last year and U.S. airlines reporting profits. But Boeing said the defense business would have lower margins than expected for this year because of pricing pressure in the U.S.

Boeing Co.’s second-quarter profit of $787 million worked out to $1.06 per share, five cents more than expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue fell 9.1 percent to $15.57 billion. That was short of the $16.13 billion expected by analysts.

Defense revenue fell 8 percent to $7.98 billion, with profits down 19 percent to $711 million. Most of the revenue decline occurred in Boeing’s space unit.

In other reports Wednesday:

Visa Inc. said its third-quarter profit slipped 2 percent, hurt by a sharp drop in investment income, but it posted increased operating income and maintained a strong forecast for its fiscal year. The company posted net income of $716 million, or 97 cents per share, for the period that ended June 30. That compared with net income of $729 million, or 97 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 23 percent to $2.03 billion from $1.65 billion last year, topping Wall Street expectations.

ConocoPhillips said its second-quarter income more than doubled as oil prices increased and refining margins jumped. ConocoPhillips reported earnings of $4.16 billion, or $2.77 per share, for the second quarter. That compares with $859 million, or 57 cents per share, in the same part of 2009. Revenue rose to $45.69 billion from $35.45 billion. Excluding a gain, the company earned $1.67 per share in the latest quarter. Analysts expected $1.56 per share.

• Health insurer Aetna Inc. earned $491 million, or $1.14 per share. That compares with net income of $346.6 million, or 77 cents per share, a year earlier. Total second-quarter revenue fell 1 percent to $8.54 billion from $8.67 billion.

Eastman Kodak Co. narrowed its loss to $168 million in the second quarter. Sales dropped 11 percent to $1.57 billion from $1.77 billion.

Tags: Boeing