Archive for Tuesday, October 12, 2004

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October 12, 2004

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Boeing CEO confident about tanker contract

Boeing Co. CEO Harry Stonecipher said Monday he remained confident the company would ultimately get an air-tanker contract from the government despite the formal demise in Congress last week of the previously approved $23 billion deal.

The previous contract was undercut by ethical concerns about the role of former Pentagon procurement official Darleen Druyun. Druyun was sentenced Oct. 1 to nine months in prison for lining up a job with Boeing while she was overseeing the contract review.

The defense legislation passed by Congress eliminates any possibility of Boeing leasing converted 767s to the Air Force as refueling tankers, a plan that drew criticism for its high government costs. But the government still might decide to buy Boeing tankers.

The Air Force wants the planes to be built at Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant and modified for military use in Wichita.

Aviation

Asian airline to buy two Boeing 717-200s

Turkmenistan Airlines has decided to buy two Boeing 717-200s next year, the central Asian carrier and the manufacturer have announced.

The two twinjet passenger aircraft, assembled in Long Beach, Calif., and valued at $80 million in list prices, are scheduled for delivery in August, according to a joint news release.

The Turkmenistan flag carrier, which in 1992 became the first from the former Soviet Union to order Boeing planes, now has five 717-200s, three 737-300s and four 757-200s.

The order boosts the total for the 717, Boeing Co.'s smallest passenger aircraft, to 169 planes, 134 of which have been delivered.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Boeing shares rose 16 cents to close at $50.26 Monday.

Software

Oracle may lower bid for rival PeopleSoft

Oracle Corp.'s hostile $7.7 billion bid for rival software maker PeopleSoft Inc. could drop by one-third to one-fourth, Oracle co-President Safra Catz said Monday.

Catz cited PeopleSoft's 2004 performance as the chief reason for what she said was likely to be a decline from the current $21-a-share offering price.

Catz's testimony came at the start of the second week of trial of Oracle's legal challenge to PeopleSoft's antitakeover defenses, as the 16-month long acquisition attempt continues.

A lawyer for PeopleSoft suggested Catz's statements and those from other Oracle executives were part of a continuing effort to use the trial as a platform to drive the deal price down.

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