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Spirit AeroSystems may face lawsuits

Keywords: Tags  Spirit AeroSystems, lawsuit, aerospace, Boeing, Gulfstream, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — At least two law firms are circling Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. for possible class-action shareholder lawsuits in the wake of the aerospace subcontractor’s surprise announcement that it would take a $590-million third-quarter charge related to work on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other aircraft programs.

Johnson & Weaver LLP of San Diego said it has launched an investigation to determine whether officers of Wichita, Kan.-based Spirit have "engaged in improper conduct or breached their fiduciary duties" by not disclosing problems that caused the charge.

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC, New York, said it is investigating whether Spirit executives issued "misguided statements" about the company’s business prospects.

Both companies identified themselves as specializing in class-action securities litigation.

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman said that Spirit’s common shares plummeted 32 percent to close at $14.69 on the New York Stock Exchange following its disclosure of the charges last week. Spirit’s announcement "caught the market off guard" and raised questions about the company’s "ability to forecast performance," Bronstein claimed.

Spirit’s shares ended last week at $14.70 per share. They did not trade Monday due to the NYSE’s storm-related closure.

Spirit has "not violated the law and is confident that an investigation would so indicate," the company told AMM, noting that it understands "certain types of law firms make such announcements on a routine basis following the release of disappointing financial news."

The charges included about $184 million tied to Chicago-based Boeing Co.’s 787 program, $163 million stemming from the wing program for Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s G650 business jet, $151 million from the BR725 engine nacelle package of the G650, $88 million tied to the wing program for the Gulfstream G280 business jet and $4 million from other combined programs.

Spirit maintained that it carries a "strong balance sheet (and) a significant backlog," and that its health and long-term outlook remain "good."

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