When Boeing CFO James Bell announced first-quarter earnings a year ago, he was cautiously optimistic that the company's floundering commercial aircraft business was finally on the mend. "The recovery is taking place and it's gradual," he said. Gradual? The first-quarter 2006 earnings rolled out by Bell last week underscored what has been a stunning reversal of fortune for Boeing's commercial airplane business. Compared with a year ago, the unit's quarterly revenues are up 48%, to $7 ...

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