MONTREAL - Bombardier and Gulfstream are in a dogfight that could decide which plane maker flies highest this year in terms of business jet sales.
At the end of the third quarter, Gulfstream was ahead of Montreal-based Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B), which usually is the leading seller of business jets.
Bombardier delivered 36 aircraft valued at US$1.38 billion in the quarter, compared with Gulfstream's 38 planes valued at US$1.96 billion, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association says,
After nine months, Bombardier trailed Gulfstream in terms of sales value (US$4.48 billion vs US$5.3 billion) although Bombardier was ahead in terms of units sold (120 planes vs. 103).
Overall industry shipments of business jets were relatively flat in the quarter at 138 planes, but were down 2.1 per cent to 421 planes over nine months.
Since the economic downturn, larger business jets such as Bombardier's Global 5000/6000 and Challenger 300 have performed better than smaller aircraft such as Bombardier's Learjets.
But the introduction of the Gulfstream 650 helped Gulfstream more than double both the number of planes sold and the value of shipments recorded in the third quarter.
On Thursday, Bombardier's company's stock fell by more than 10 per cent after it reported weaker-than-anticipated third-quarter results in its aerospace and railway divisions amid low aircraft deliveries and "execution" issues for new large rail contracts.
Analysts said the magnitude of the stock selloff was "unwarranted" but Bombardier's shares were down another 2.3 per cent or 11 cents at C$4.63 in afternoon trading Friday.