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  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    Big day today (Fri Feb 22) for Boeing -- as execs fly to Washington to lobby the FAA to allow the 787 to fly with the Titanium Box "interim" fix.

    Interesting however: Japan's regulator -- also today -- said the battery investigation is inconclusive, will continue, and that the Japanese 787s will remain grounded. Seems something of a pre-emptive move, perhaps trying to influence the FAA. Dow Jones reports:

    QUOTE

    TOKYO--Japan's transport ministry said Friday it had identified the likely cause of fuel leaks that were among problems besetting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but are still looking into why batteries on the aircraft overheated on two occasions, causing the aircraft to be grounded globally. ...

    The resolution of the fuel leak problems doesn't alter the directive that took effect Jan. 16 to ground the 24 Dreamliners operated by ANA and JAL. That order followed two separate incidents in which the lithium-ion batteries on the aircraft overheated, forcing an emergency landing in one case. All 50 of the 787 Dreamliners in service globally are now grounded as a result of the battery problems.

    "The most important thing is the battery incidents. We'll make an all-out effort to identify the cause," said Akihiro Ohta, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, at a press conference. "It's too early to say that we are over the hump."

    END QUOTE

    Thus it seems most of the 50 787s already out there -- with Polish and Japanese airlines -- will remain grounded regardless of what the FAA says re the Titanium Box.

    There has seemed all along tension between the NTSB (doing the US investigation) and the FAA (which allowed Boeing to "self-certify" the lithium system and post-groundings caught some flack from NTSB people).

    The FAA initially said that the 787 would stay grounded until the battery problem was understood and re-engineeried. Boeing is today asking them to take that back and accept a basket of "interim" fixes. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week:

    QUOTE

    Many of Boeing's proposals are geared toward demonstrating that even if another battery starts to dangerously overheat, the situation won't turn into a crisis. Before takeoff, for example, pilots would be required to look at detailed battery-health information stored in the plane's computerized maintenance files, according to one person familiar with the details.

    In the air, 787 cockpit crews also would be ordered to repeatedly check the status of the two batteries onboard—and land immediately if they sensed a budding problem.

    END QUOTE

    It will be interesting, politically, to see if Obama's FAA submits to the proposal from Boeing (a royal member of the military-industrial complex) or closes ranks with the angry NTSB investigators and stands its ground.
    Feb 22 09:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    Today, Friday 2/22, in Washington, Boeing execs will propose to the FAA that it allow the 787 to fly with the Titanium Box "interim" fix.

    Interesting however: Japan's regulator -- also today -- said the battery investigation is inconclusive, will continue, and that the Japanese 787s will remain grounded. Seems something of a pre-emptive move, perhaps trying to influence the FAA. Dow Jones reports:

    QUOTE

    TOKYO--Japan's transport ministry said Friday it had identified the likely cause of fuel leaks that were among problems besetting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but are still looking into why batteries on the aircraft overheated on two occasions, causing the aircraft to be grounded globally. ...

    The resolution of the fuel leak problems doesn't alter the directive that took effect Jan. 16 to ground the 24 Dreamliners operated by ANA and JAL. That order followed two separate incidents in which the lithium-ion batteries on the aircraft overheated, forcing an emergency landing in one case. All 50 of the 787 Dreamliners in service globally are now grounded as a result of the battery problems.

    "The most important thing is the battery incidents. We'll make an all-out effort to identify the cause," said Akihiro Ohta, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, at a press conference. "It's too early to say that we are over the hump."

    END QUOTE

    Thus it seems most of the 50 787s already out there -- with Polish and Japanese airlines -- will remain grounded regardless of what the FAA says re the Titanium Box.

    There has seemed all along tension between the NTSB (doing the US investigation) and the FAA (which allowed Boeing to "self-certify" the lithium system and post-groundings caught some flack from NTSB people).

    The FAA initially said that the 787 would stay grounded until the battery problem was understood and re-engineeried. Boeing is today asking them to take that back and accept a basket of "interim" fixes. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week:

    QUOTE

    Many of Boeing's proposals are geared toward demonstrating that even if another battery starts to dangerously overheat, the situation won't turn into a crisis. Before takeoff, for example, pilots would be required to look at detailed battery-health information stored in the plane's computerized maintenance files, according to one person familiar with the details.

    In the air, 787 cockpit crews also would be ordered to repeatedly check the status of the two batteries onboard—and land immediately if they sensed a budding problem.

    END QUOTE

    It will be interesting, politically, to see if Obama's FAA submits to the proposal from Boeing (a royal member of the military-industrial complex) or closes ranks with the angry NTSB investigators and stands its ground.
    Feb 22 09:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    The SPEEA vote was split among the two contract-groups, but each group has authorized a strike.

    QUOTE

    According to the Seattle-based Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA):

    = its "professional" members - who perform the main engineering duties on Boeing planes - voted narrowly in favor of accepting the contract,

    = while a smaller group of "technical" members - who support the engineers - voted to reject it.

    = Both groups voted in favor of authorizing the union to call a strike.

    The groups negotiate together, but their contracts are separate.

    http://reut.rs/154Xyd6
    Feb 20 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    QUOTE

    According to the Seattle-based Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA):

    = its "professional" members - who perform the main engineering duties on Boeing planes - voted narrowly in favor of accepting the contract,

    = while a smaller group of "technical" members - who support the engineers - voted to reject it.

    = Both groups voted in favor of authorizing the union to call a strike.

    The groups negotiate together, but their contracts are separate.

    http://reut.rs/154Xyd6
    Feb 20 08:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    The story about the Titanium Box "interim fix" (first floated by WS Journal early last week) was repeated on Sunday by Bloomberg, which added that BA would formally propose it to the FAA this week.

    It's hard to imagine the Obamarama will say No to Boeing (or any royal member of the military-industrial complex), despite the NTSB's ire, and despite the last week's story (see above) about 737s flying for more than four years now with an "interim fix" for a serious but still mysterious engine / fuel system problem.

    Elsewhere, the Engineers today count their strike-authorization votes.
    Feb 19 08:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    The Titanium Box "interim fix" story (first floated by WS Journal early last week) was repeated on Sunday by Bloomberg, which added that BA would formally propose it to the FAA this week.

    It's hard to imagine the Obamarama will say No to Boeing (or any royal member of the military-industrial complex), despite the NTSB's ire, and despite the last week's story (see above) about 737s flying for more than four years now with an "interim fix" for a serious but still mysterious engine / fuel system problem.

    Elsewhere, the Engineers today count their strike-authorization votes.
    Feb 19 08:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "The chatter about Apple’s broader television plans has been picking up. And if that chatter is to believed, something is happening this fall — likely late fall," says Apple (AAPL) uber-fan MG Siegler, who seems to have a source or two in Cupertino. Siegler isn't sure whether a TV or a new set-top will arrive - the most recent rumors suggest the latter - and expects an SDK ahead of a product launch. The comments come shortly after Xbox (MSFT) co-founder Nat Brown bemoaned the Xbox's failure to appeal to small developers the way iOS and Android have[View news story]
    Here's the Apple statement post Einhorn complaint

    http://bit.ly/15n5yqW
    Feb 17 11:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "The chatter about Apple’s broader television plans has been picking up. And if that chatter is to believed, something is happening this fall — likely late fall," says Apple (AAPL) uber-fan MG Siegler, who seems to have a source or two in Cupertino. Siegler isn't sure whether a TV or a new set-top will arrive - the most recent rumors suggest the latter - and expects an SDK ahead of a product launch. The comments come shortly after Xbox (MSFT) co-founder Nat Brown bemoaned the Xbox's failure to appeal to small developers the way iOS and Android have[View news story]
    Well yes-- by "uptrend" I meant the little trend of the past weeks. Larger scope, of course, the big downtrend is intact.

    Re your worries about the buyback program and dividend increases:

    The APPL response to Einhorn stated -- in public with the legal character of "guidance" -- that they have all the cash they think they need to execute their strategic plan, and on top of that have $20-plus billion free cash flow coming in every quarter. This seems to mean they feel free to return that ongoing cash flow to stockholders.

    The existing buyback program requires only $35 billion for fulfillment (with $10 of the $45 bln program total now done).

    That leaves, across the coming 4 quarters, say $45 billion (to be conservative, working with $20 billion FCF per quarter) in the cookie jar, or $11.25 bln per quarter.

    And currently Apple pays out about $2.48 billion per quarter in dividends.

    So doubling that dividend would still leave $6 billion or so accruing in the war chest each quarter (assuming that the entire dividend comes out of that $20-some bln FCF figure they referred to in their statement; if not -- ie if the existing $2.48 billion div is already accounted for elsewhere -- then the leftover cash each month after doubling the dividend would be roughly $9 bln).

    So there seems room for a big dividend increase that, even so, would allow plenty of room for revenue ups-and-downs.


    The other promising thing about the recent statement was the remarkable solicitude expressed for Einhorn's concerns. This marks a revolution in the way Apple deals with shareholders. A good revolution.

    So I'm hopeful that the dividend news on Feb 27 will exceed current expectations, which seem to hover in the 20-30% increase zone.

    That combined with the event calendar taking speculative shape in the news may well be enough to break the big downtrend.

    We'll see. I've no crystal ball, and a small position at the moment that requires only a 1.5% bump from $460 to be happy.
    Feb 17 11:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "The chatter about Apple’s broader television plans has been picking up. And if that chatter is to believed, something is happening this fall — likely late fall," says Apple (AAPL) uber-fan MG Siegler, who seems to have a source or two in Cupertino. Siegler isn't sure whether a TV or a new set-top will arrive - the most recent rumors suggest the latter - and expects an SDK ahead of a product launch. The comments come shortly after Xbox (MSFT) co-founder Nat Brown bemoaned the Xbox's failure to appeal to small developers the way iOS and Android have[View news story]
    There is a nice short-term layer of price-volume support just below the expiration friday's $460 closing.

    And the shareholder meeting (where the dividend increase will be announced) is only six trading days away.

    So I bought some calls in the final minutes Friday. No crystal ball. I'm hoping to see $458-60 probed Tuesday morning and then a resumption of the recent uptrend.
    Feb 16 05:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    So -- AIRBUS announces that it will NOT use lithium batteries in its new airliner -- the BA 787's future competitor.

    Airlines will now have a choice: Fly with combustible mystery batteries or don't.

    http://reut.rs/XdGL1Y
    Feb 15 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    AIRBUS has announced that it will not use lithium batteries in its new jet -- ie the BA 787's future competitor.

    Airlines will now have a choice: Fly with combustible mystery batteries or don't.

    http://reut.rs/XdGL1Y
    Feb 15 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    Now the 737 ?!?

    A four-year old engine or fuel-system problem. The airlines were notified two days ago. The story broke in the press this afternoon post close.

    http://trib.in/WLTpZM

    Sounds at first glance more like fuel contamination from local sources. But it seems, from talk in the article about fuel pumps and other elements of the fuel system, a software patch, etc, that they've looked into engineering solutions as well.

    And are still mystified. Four years on. First such problem in 2008, the latest in Nov of last year. Still flying with "interim" fixes and the problem an unresolved scientific mystery.

    What in blazes is going on at Boeing?
    Feb 14 09:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    Now the 737 ?!?

    Boeing told the airlines of this four-year old engine problem/mystery two days ago. Now published in the news today post close.

    http://trib.in/WLTpZM

    Sounds at first glance more like fuel contamination from local sources. But it seems, from talk in the article about fuel pumps and other elements of the fuel system, a software patch, etc, that they've looked into engineering solutions as well. But are still mystified.

    First such problem in 2008, the latest in Nov of last year.

    What in blazes is going on at Boeing?
    Feb 14 09:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Gone Bad [View article]
    Yesterday the Wall Street Journal floated the idea that BA might encase the batteries in titanium as an interim fix while it tried to figure out what was wrong, having flown the two test flights without result.

    Today in europe the Polish national airline said no thanks:

    QUOTE

    Polish airline LOT keeps its Boeing 787 Dreamliners grounded through October
    Associated Press February 14

    WARSAW, Poland — Polish airline LOT said Thursday it is keeping its Boeing 787 Dreamliners grounded through October while the U.S. company tries to solve a potential safety threat. The late date suggests some airlines are growing skeptical about the plane’s chances of resuming flight soon.

    END QUOTE

    I wonder what October signifies. Perhaps some inside word from NTSB or BA?
    Feb 14 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing Will Outperform The Dow In 2013 [View article]
    Wall St Journal yesterday floated the notion that BA might encase the batteries in "titanium" -- wow, just like your Taylor Made driver! -- as an interim fix while it tried to figure out what was wrong, having flown the two test flights without result.

    Today in europe the Polish national airline said no thanks:

    QUOTE

    Polish airline LOT keeps its Boeing 787 Dreamliners grounded through October
    Associated Press February 14

    WARSAW, Poland — Polish airline LOT said Thursday it is keeping its Boeing 787 Dreamliners grounded through October while the U.S. company tries to solve a potential safety threat. The late date suggests some airlines are growing skeptical about the plane’s chances of resuming flight soon.

    END QUOTE

    I wonder what October signifies. Perhaps some inside word from NTSB or BA?

    The LOT story is Associated Press, widely in the press this morning, including the Washington Post this morning.
    Feb 14 12:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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