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UPDATE 1-Boeing supplier Spirit Aero's profit beats as MAX production remains unchanged

unchanged@ (Adds second-quarter details, CEO comment, MAX background)

July 31 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as Boeing's biggest supplier continued to make and sell parts for the planemaker's 737 MAX jets in expectation it would soon be back in the air.

Spirit followed Boeing earlier this year in suspending its full-year outlook in the face of the crisis, but has continued to produce parts for the MAX at a rate of 52 units per month, even as Boeing cut production of the plane to 42 per month.

Prior to a deadly crash in March which led to the grounding of the MAX, Boeing had planned to raise production to 57 aircraft per month.

"Having costs for rate 57 but producing at a lower rate had a short-term negative impact on margins," Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile said.

The company has taken multiple actions, including deferring capital investments and pausing hiring and share repurchases, to control its costs in the face of a possibility of a further rate cut by the planemaker.

Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said last week he was confident the MAX would be back in service as early as October, while warning that the company could consider further 737 output cuts, or potentially suspend production if the delay prolonged.

The company's net income rose to $168 million, or $1.61 per share, in the second quarter ended June 27, from $145.2 million, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 9.8% to $2.02 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.71 per share, above analysts' average estimate of $1.64, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)