Thursday, August 7, 2014

3 Reasons to Feel Good About Pratt & Whitney's Geared Turbofan Engine

Another day, another announcement that a major airline, American Airlines, is placing 100 orders for CFM International's LEAP-1A engines to power its fleet of Airbus 320neo. This is good news for General Electric (CFM is a joint venture between General Electric and Snecma) as it competes with United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney for engine orders on the revamped A320. It's obviously not such good news for United Technologies. Moreover, given that a Pratt & Whitney engine recently caught fire on a Bombardier  CSeries jet on a ground test, investors are entitled to start feeling apprehensive about United Technologies' prospects going forward. Is it really that bad for United Technologies?

Bombardier's CSeries problems

The CSeries matters to Pratt & Whitney, because the PW1000G geared turbofan engine is the exclusive engine option on the planes. In fact, aside from the A320neo -- where it competes with CFM -- the engine is currently only offered elsewhere as an option on some smaller circulation regional jets. Therefore, earlier in the year, when Bombardier's CSeries jet was delayed for a fourth time, investors must have started to downplay expectations for the PW1000G. Indeed, the CSeries -- originally expected to enter service in 2013 -- is now expected to be commercially available for service as late as the second half of 2015. Throw in the engine fire mentioned above, and the problems appear to be mounting for Pratt & Whitney.