Someone remind me: What is it you're supposed to do in case of a crash landing? Duck and cover? Stop, drop, and roll?

Well, it doesn't matter. No steps you take today can make Boeing's (NYSE:BA) third-quarter earnings report look any better tomorrow. But at least you can be prepared.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Of the 21 analysts keeping Boeing on their radar, 11 rate it a buy, eight more say "hold," and two think it's time to sell.
  • Revenue. On average, they're looking for sales to slip 12% to $14.6 billion.
  • Earnings. Profits are predicted to fall 31% to $0.98 per share.

What management says:
Whereas last quarter's news centered almost exclusively on Boeing's feud with Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) in the contest to build the KC-X Tanker, there's no question about the big news at Boeing this quarter. It was the strike, obviously. And it still is.

Ever since Sept. 6, 27,000 Boeing workers at plants in Washington, Oregon, and Kansas have manned the picket lines. An attempt at resolving the nearly two-month-old dispute was aborted last week.

What management does:

R ight now, according to press reports, management is realizing that Boeing could lose about $100 million in revenue every day the strike continues. And considering that margins have already begun to turn downward at Boeing, I don't see this development bringing any smiles to investors' faces tomorrow.

Margins

3/07

6/07

9/07

12/07

3/08

6/08

Gross

18.2%

19.3%

19.4%

19.6%

19.8%

19.2%

Operating

6.4%

7.7%

8.0%

8.4%

9.1%

8.7%

Net

3.8%

5.6%

6.1%

6.1%

6.6%

6.3%

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
Yet it's not all bad news at Boeing. It only feels like it. The company's C-17 military transport program got a new lease on life earlier this month. Good news for Boeing, and grand news for agnostic airplane-parts suppliers such as Honeywell (NYSE:HON) and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), and metalworkers such as Titanium Metals (NYSE:TIE) and Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI) -- which are just as happy to provide Boeing military airplane components as they are civilian ones.

And even on the civilian side of things, the news isn't entirely bleak. Despite the ongoing strike, Boeing just booked an order from American Airlines (NYSE:AMR) for as many as 100 of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner jets. To me, that rings the note of confidence. At least someone out there believes the strike will eventually end and the planes will get built.

Read up on recent Boeing news in:

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Boeing. Titanium Metals is a Stock Advisor pick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.