What's Important in the Financial World (2/5/2013)

BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Z10

787 to Fly Again?

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is trying to get back in the game of flying its 787 Dreamliner. So far, the prospects do not seem very good, depending on which reports are to be believed. According to Reuters:

Boeing Co has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner, suggesting the company is making progress in finding a solution to the battery problems that grounded the entire 787 fleet last month.

However, The Wall Street Journal writes:

Despite talk of progress, investigators still don't know what caused the dangerous Dreamliner mishaps.

As the probe of burning batteries aboard Boeing Co.'s jets stretches into its second month, an international team of air-accident sleuths remains stumped about the underlying cause, according to people familiar with the details. This has fueled pessimism about how quickly the planes can resume flying.

Based on Boeing's share price, the market believes the plane will not fly.

Toyota's Comeback

As Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) announced its third-quarter results, for the period that ended on December 31, it raised it forecasts and cemented its position as the world's top car manufacturer. The Japanese car company reported:

TMC also today revises its consolidated vehicles sales forecast for fiscal year 2013 from 8.750 million units to 8.850 million units, an increase of 100,000 units from the previous forecast announced in November 2012, due to the increased overseas vehicle sales, mostly in North America.

TMC also upwardly revises its consolidated financial forecasts for fiscal year 2013 to consolidated net revenue of 21.8 trillion yen, operating income of 1.15 trillion yen, income before income taxes of 1.29 trillion yen and net income of 860.0 billion yen, with the revision of an exchange rate of 81 yen to the U.S. dollar and 104 yen to the euro.

Car research firm Truecar commented:

"Toyota experienced the year of the dream come back in 2012,"said Jesse Toprak, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. "Virtually all of the metrics by which we define an automaker's performance improved dramatically for the company after a couple years of a roller coster ride. Toyota regained all of their lost market share since after the Tsunami, increased their average transaction price (ATP) by nearly five percent, lowered incentives spending; all while posting a remarkable 27% sales gain."

Underperforming Ford Fusions

Consumer Reports states that claims about fuel economy and acceleration in small turbo engine power cars are often false:

Consumer Reports tests many cars with small, turbocharged engines, and lots of competitors with traditional, naturally aspirated engines, big and small. Based on the EPA fuel-economy estimates, which are calculated based on laboratory tests, some of these cars' turbocharged engines look better. But CR's engineers found those results don't always translate to the real world driving and in Consumer Reports' own fuel economy tests.

The latest example of underperforming small turbocharged engines is the collection of 2013 Ford Fusions with EcoBoost engines - small, turbocharged four-cylinders with direct injection - which were recently tested by Consumer Reports. The smaller engine - a 1.6-liter producing 173 hp - is a $795 option over the basic conventional 2.5-liter Four on Fusion SE models. But that car's 0-60 mph acceleration time trails competitive family sedans, and it delivers just 25 mpg, placing it among the worst of the crop of recently-redesigned family sedans.

A tough day for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) management.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: BA, F, featured, TM