UPDATE 2-Embraer confident of profit targets after solid first half

jueves 31 de julio de 2014 12:28 GYT

(Adds comments, official forecasts, details of earnings)

By Brad Haynes

SAO PAULO, July 31 (Reuters) - Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA has little risk of missing its performance targets this year after a strong second-quarter profit and a solid outlook for the end of the year, executives said on Thursday.

Surging regional jet deliveries and a more favorable currency helped Embraer beat analysts' forecasts and bring operating profit in line with official estimates during the first half of the year, when its performance traditionally lags.

"We don't see much downside risk (to profit targets) ... There may be some upside," Chief Executive Frederico Curado told analysts on an earnings call. "We have a more balanced year, that's why we have not revised our guidance upwards."

Curado said he was working hard to distribute deliveries across the calendar and avoid the year-end rush to hit targets.

Analysts agreed Embraer would have no trouble meeting its in-house estimates, which JPMorgan Securities analyst Joseph Nadal described as "abundantly conservative."

Earlier in the day, Embraer booked second-quarter net income of $143 million, beating all six estimates in a Reuters survey of analysts with an average forecast of $116 million. Embraer posted a net loss of $5 million a year earlier, when a sharp currency swing drove up its tax bill.

The planemaker reported last month that it had delivered 29 E-Jets to airlines in the second quarter, up from 22 planes a year earlier. Regional jets have ceded ground in Embraer's portfolio to executive aviation and defense contracting but still contribute more than half its revenue.   Continuación...