The State of the Union 2012

Watch it here tonight at 9PM ET.  State of The Union Address

“On Tuesday night, I’m going to talk about how we’ll get there. American Manufacturing – with more good jobs and more products stamped with Made in America. American Energy – fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources. Skills for American Workers – getting people the education and training they need so they’re ready to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. And most importantly, a Return to American Values – of fairness for all, and responsibility from all.” – POTUS

Kudos to President Obama for promoting manufacturing.  As Scott Paul said in a recent Huffington Post op-ed “now is the ideal time for the president to promote manufacturing: “If the president really wants to see “Made in America” stamped on products shipped all over the world, he needs to be bold. We’ll be watching. And so will voters.”

Will you be watching?

Hawker-Beechcraft Denied Big Air Force Contract in Favor of Brazilian Company With Soros Connections

Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6

*Update: Hawker-Beechcraft sues to block Embraer’s Air Force Contract

By Gary P Jackson

Here’s a little something that caught my eye today. It seems after investing around $100 million in this project, Hawker-Beechcraft has been excluded from a contract, worth almost $1 billion, to build a new light air support plane.

What intrigues me is the Brazilian company Embraer, the likely contract winner, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Justice Department, for possible violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to Financial Times, Embraer is “venturing into the defense industry” and “is one of a select few Brazilian companies that has managed to break out of the Latin American market and compete on a global scale

You can read more about the corruption investigation here.

Here’s what the Wichita Eagle is reporting:

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. says the Air Force has informed the company that it lost out on a military contract worth nearly $1 billion.

The company had hoped to win the Light Air Support contract with its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer. But on Friday, the company said it received a letter from the Air Force saying the AT-6 had been excluded from the competition. The company wants an explanation.

According to the company’s news release: “The letter provides no basis for the exclusion. We are both confounded and troubled by this decision, as we have been working closely with the Air Force for two years and, with our partners Lockheed Martin, CMC Esterline, Pratt & Whitney Canada, L-3 WESCAM and CAE, have invested more than $100 million preparing to meet the Air Force’s specific requirements.”

The piston planes are designed for counterinsurgency, close air support, armed overwatch and homeland security.

Read more of this post

Boeing Posts $1.56 Billion Loss

The Wall Street Journal

By JOAN E. SOLSMAN

Boeing Co. swung to a third-quarter loss on $3.5 billion of previously disclosed charges caused by the delay-plagued programs for the 747-8 Freighter and the 787 Dreamliner.

The commercial-aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor lowered its forecast for 2009 earnings to between $1.35 and 1.55 a share, down more than $4 from its July forecast. The Chicago-based company stuck with its outlook of $68 billion to $69 billion in revenue for the year.

Monday, rival Lockheed Martin Corp. posted a slight increase in profit but gave a grim view of next year because of belt-tightening at the U.S. Defense Department.

Boeing, which is the nation’s No. 2 government defense contractor, behind Lockheed, has leaned on strength in that business to offset weakness from commercial aircraft as airlines have put purchases on hold as they reduce capacity. Boeing also has tarnished its reputation with delays to both its Dreamliner and 747-8 programs, which resulted in the charges in the most recent period. Boeing last week reiterated that the Dreamliner is set to take its first flight by year-end.

Boeing didn’t say Wednesday that the Dreamliner has moved into a so-called forward-loss position, essentially meaning it is unprofitable, unlike the 747 program.

Chief Executive Jim McNerney said the company looks forward to getting the 747-8 in the air soon.

“The 787 cost reclassification and the 747 charge for increased costs and difficult market conditions clearly overshadowed what continues to be otherwise solid performance across our commercial production programs and defense business,” Mr. McNerney said in a prepared statement.

Boeing posted a loss of $1.56 billion, or $2.23 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $695 million, or 96 cents a share. The combined $3.5 billion in charges on the 747 and Dreamliner, the most Boeing has recorded in a single quarter, amounted to $3.59 a share.

Revenue increased 9.1% to $16.69 billion. A machinists strike damped revenue in the year-earlier period.

The commercial-aircraft segment swung to a loss. Sales rose 13% as higher deliveries offset lower services volume. Boeing received 96 gross orders for commercial planes, though 17 others were rescinded. Backlog fell 8% to $254 billion.

Defense-business revenue rose 3% as earnings increased 4%.

Write to Joan E. Solsman at joan.solsman@dowjones.com

%d bloggers like this: