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Investors seek answers on 787 in Boeing 1Q report

CHICAGO (AP) -- When Boeing reports first-quarter results on Wednesday, investors will be eager for information about how soon the 787 will be able to fly again and whether Boeing can still deliver 60 planes this year to customers.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The 787 is Boeing's newest plane, but it's been grounded since mid-January while investigators try to figure out what made batteries smolder on two planes. The Federal Aviation Administration has said that it will issue rules this week for a battery fix that will get the planes flying again.

On Friday Boeing said the battery problem will have "no significant impact" to its 2013 guidance. It has also said that it still expects to meet its target for delivering at least 60 of the planes this year. Investors will want to know on Wednesday whether that goal still stands, considering that Boeing hasn't delivered any yet. Also, the fix has to be installed on more than 50 planes that have been built but not yet delivered, as well as those on its assembly lines. Deliveries stopped when aviation authorities grounded the planes.

WHY IT MATTERS: Boeing is already taking a loss on each 787. But each delivery at least brings in cash for that plane, so investors are eager to see Boeing meet its delivery targets.

UBS analyst David Strauss tracks the movement of the special freighter that hauls the parts for the 787 to assembly plants in Everett, Wash., and Charleston, S.C. Those movements suggest that Boeing is on track to accelerate production to seven per month, up from five now, Strauss recently wrote in a note to investors.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts are expecting a quarterly profit of $1.49 per share on revenue of $18.83 billion, according to FactSet. In December, analysts were expecting revenue of $21 billion, but those estimates began coming down after the 787 was grounded and deliveries stopped.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The Chicago-based company posted a profit of $923 million, or $1.22 per share, on revenue of $19.38 billion.