What's Important in the Financial World (3/15/2013)


Boeing 787 Ready to Fly?

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has said, once again, that its deeply trouble 787 will take to the air again soon. Battery problems with the plane have kept it grounded for two months. Regulators in Japan, and particularly the United States, have combed through the mechanics of the plane but have not found root causes. Boeing recently was cleared to make test flights. While Boeing expects a quick resolution, the FAA has said more than once that there may be no quick resolution. According to Reuters:

Boeing, which has Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to test its new battery for certification, said Friday it will encase the redesigned power pack in a steel box, pack it with added insulation, heat-resistant material and spacers, drill drain holes to remove moisture, and vent any gases from overheating directly to the atmosphere outside the aircraft.

"If we look at the normal process and the way in which we work with the FAA, and we look at the testing that's ahead of us, it is reasonable to expect we could be back up and going in weeks, not months," the 787′s chief engineer, Mike Sinnett, said at a briefing in Tokyo.

Refurbished iPads

In what could be another bad sign for the demand for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) products, the company has begun to sell some refurbished iPads and iPad minis. Several of these products have only been in the market for few months. Either Apple has found that people have dropped the products because they do not like themo or perhaps these customers anticipate another iPad launch soon and just want to clear their desks, homes and offices of old inventory. According to Apple Insider:

The refurbished mini and fourth-gen iPad are now available in Apple's online store. Customers can pick up a black 16GB iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular for $429 or a White 32GB Wi-Fi only model for $389.

Customers looking for a full-size iPad can pick up the fourth-generation iPad, which features an improved processor and compatibility with Apple's new Lightning connector standard. Refurbished fourth-generation models run from $449 for a white 16GB Wi-Fi only model to $679 for a black 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

More Video Game Headwinds

Research firm NPD has released its monthly data for video game sales. The industry continues to face consumer preferences for using tablets and smartphones instead of consoles as platforms. And the number of inexpensive games that can be download from app stores has risen. Some of the most popular sources of these games are free. This movement has pressured both console makers Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and has eroded revenue at game creators and marketers, particularly Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA). According to Edge Online:

The software charts saw an overall year-on-year decline in unit sales of 30% compared to February 2012, though there were a similar number of new releases. Total video game software sales at retail amounted to $352 million in February 2013, compared to $484 million the previous year.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: AAPL, BA, EA, MSFT, SNE