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BREAKING NEWS

Boeing-supplier Spirit AeroSystems suspends outlook

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(Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc on Wednesday followed Boeing Co's lead in suspending its full-year outlook and pausing share buybacks in reaction to the groundings of the U.S. planemaker's 737 MAX jets.

Boeing, the company's biggest customer, has been forced to stop deliveries and cut production of its best-selling MAX jets, as it works to get a software fix for the jets to get them flying again.

Spirit's results, which showed a 30 percent rise in profit, come a week after Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said the lowered production of 737 MAX jets had cost it at least $1 billion (£764 million).

"Our prior guidance for 2019 assumed we would increase 737 monthly production in June 2019 to 57 aircraft. As we now expect to remain at 52 aircraft per month for some period of time, that guidance does not reflect our current outlook," Spirit Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile said.

Analysts have been concerned that Spirit would be forced to lower its full-year outlook sharply due to the MAX production cut, but an agreement reached earlier this month with Boeing eased some of those worries.

As per the agreement, Spirit will continue to produce 737 parts at a rate of 52 shipsets a month and get paid for it, even as Boeing temporarily manufactures the planes at a reduced rate of 42 units per month.

Spirit's net income rose to $163.1 million, or $1.55 per share, in the first quarter ended March 28, from $125.4 million, or $1.10 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.68 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.64 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose 13.4 percent to $1.97 billion, beating consensus of $1.93 billion.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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