Analysts: G650 orders boost Gulfstream backlog

 - August 29, 2008, 10:53 AM

Gulfstream has received some highly publicized orders for the G650, including a letter of intent (LOI) from Abu Dhabi-based Prestige Jet to purchase five aircraft. Gulfstream has not stated publicly how many orders it holds for the airplane, but the most recent earnings report from its parent company, General Dynamics, provides some data from which inferences can be drawn.

A look at the stock history of the major aerospace and defense companies shows an almost uniform drop in share value in the last six months. Of the handful of companies that so far appear recession-proof, General Dynamics is almost at the head of the pack.

A closer look at the company’s second-quarter financial results indicates a 25-percent increase in net income from the same period a year ago. What’s particularly interesting is that about 20 percent of the company’s sales are credited to Gulfstream Aerospace.

Gulfstream’s official response pertaining to orders for its new G650 ultra-long-range business jet was vague. A spokesman for the company said, “In the General Dynamics second-quarter earnings call on July 23, chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja was not specific about LOIs converted to orders for the G650. When an analyst speculated/ calculated the number must be about 100, the chairman replied, ‘Close.’”

Immediately following the second-quarter earnings call, JPMorgan estimated the approximately 100 orders gave Gulfstream a backlog increase of 50 percent. It also estimated there are about 400 additional LOIs.

Gulfstream announced the earliest serial numbers (6002 and 6003) should be available during the third quarter of 2012 for $56 million. The price increases to $59.5 million for S/N 6052, which the company expects to deliver in 2014.

Securing a delivery position requires a refundable deposit of $500,000. The first payment of $2.5 million is due at contract signing, followed by additional $5 million milestone payments due at first flight (estimated to take place in the third quarter of next year) and FAA certification, estimated in the third quarter of 2011.