Bombardier Business Boom

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Strong demand from the corporate sector, plus interest from emerging countries and high-net-worth individuals, translated to a sharp rise in fourth-quarter profits at Bombardier that have so far continued in 2011. The company earned 88 net orders in the last quarter of 2010 and most (74) were for business jets. That compares to 33 orders, including just seven for business jets, placed during the same period just one year prior. The surge was followed this year by an order for 50 aircraft from NetJets. Executives at the company forecast that 2011 should bring 150 orders, in total. If the company's recent good fortune serves as a bellwether for others, that forecast may do as much to lift spirits as the outlook from some market analysts.

CIBC World Markets analyst Michael Willemse recently published that "continued strength in emerging market economies (particularly China and the Middle East) is expected to result in strong international demand for business jets." Within those markets, long-range, large business jets are preferred, says Willemse. The orders recorded by Bombardier in the fourth quarter caused a surge in earnings, which jumped to $325 million and nearly doubled the previous year's $175 million.