* Analyst cites more potential bad news from conference call
* Charges tied mainly to 787 weigh on results
* Oklahoma assets could be sold or kept
(Adds estimates comparison, more from analyst note)
Feb 6 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, a major supplier of components to Boeing Co and Airbus , reported a loss for the fourth quarter on charges tied mainly to the Boeing 787 program, sending its shares about 22 percent lower.
The Wichita, Kansas, maker of fuselage and wing systems also forecast 2014 earnings below the average analyst estimate.
The surprise loss on Thursday was a setback as Spirit has a history of past stumbles with cost overruns on airplane programs that have hurt profitability.
During its earnings conference call, the company tried to reassure analysts that it was taking steps to stem the tide of big charges. Spirit AeroSystems has cut jobs and put certain assets up for sale since former Lockheed Martin executive Larry Lawson was named chief executive last year.
"We're trying to make smart decisions as it relates to going forward in terms of the type of work we get involved in and then our ability to estimate that work and make sure that the jobs we take on align with our core competencies," Lawson said during the call.
Still, RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall said Spirit's comments on the call that it had lowered pricing in Boeing contracts did not bode well.
"The 787 program is already zero margin so if SPR can't hit its 787 cost targets in time then there are further charges ahead," Cahall said in a note to clients.
He also noted from Spirit's comments on the call that while it was working with potential buyers of Oklahoma operations it put up for sale six months ago, the company could also wind up keeping the assets. The Oklahoma operations, which handle wing design for Gulfstream business jets, have run up more than $1 billion in costs since October 2012.
Cahall said the commentary could indicate potential buyers aren't willing to pay Spirit's price for the Oklahoma assets or signal a change of mind regarding a sale. "Either way we think the divestiture is seen as a significant future catalyst, the loss of which is incrementally negative," Cahall's note added.
Spirit's fourth quarter was hurt by pretax charges of $546 million, or $2.42 a share, tied to expected costs on the 787 Dreamliner. The company also recorded costs of $381 million, or $2.69 a share, related to deferred tax assets.
Spirit said the 787 charge was intended to cancel out certain expected forward losses related to the Boeing program - an agreement to settle claims associated with the production of the Dreamliner.
Spirit reported a net loss of $587 million, or $4.15 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $61 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
Adjusted for items, the company had a profit of 65 cents a share in the latest period, a result in line with what analysts expected on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Quarterly revenue rose 5 percent to $1.49 billion.
Costs spiraled for Spirit, spun off from Boeing in 2005, when the company started supplying parts for business jets along with commercial planes.
Spirit said it expects 2014 earnings of $2.50-$2.65 per share. Analysts on average expected profit of $2.68.
Spirit shares, among the percentage loss leaders on the New York Stock Exchange, slumped 21.7 percent, or $7.15, to $25.82 in afternoon trading.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore and Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Andrew Hay and Chris Reese)