Bombardier cuts CSeries deliveries forecast, posts bigger loss


(Reuters) - Bombardier Inc. on Thursday cut its yearly forecast for deliveries of its CSeries jets because of engine delays, while posting a larger loss for the third quarter.

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The Canadian plane and train maker said it now expects to deliver 20 to 22 planes this year, down from a previous 30 deliveries of the narrow-body jets.

But the company also said on Thursday it received a letter of intent from a European customer to buy up to 61 of the CSeries jets, which have not made a sale in more than a year.

The company said the letter of intent includes 31 firm orders and options for another 30 jets. Based on list prices, the firm order would be valued at about $2.4 billion, Bombardier said.

That amount would increase to nearly $4.8 billion should the options be exercised. Bombardier did not disclose the customer.

European planemaker Airbus SE recently agreed to take a majority stake in the CSeries program for $1, in a deal expected to help the struggling line of planes.

For the third quarter, Bombardier said its free cash flow usage for the year would be about $1 billion, or at the higher end of its forecast range, as it ramps up CSeries production and delivers fewer jets than expected this year.

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The Montreal-based company said it expects full-year earnings before interest, taxes and special items, of at least $630 million, which is at the high end of its forecast of $580 million to $630 million.

Bombardier, which is in the middle of a five-year turnaround plan after facing a cash crunch in 2015, delivered 31 business jets in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with 36 in the same period last year.

Chief Executive Alain Bellemare said his company's turnaround was on track.

It posted a net loss of $117 million or 5 cents a share in the quarter, compared to a loss of $94 million or 4 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The per-share loss matched analysts' average expectation, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue came in at $3.8 billion, slightly up from $3.74 billion last year.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Allison Lampert; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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