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Boeing Sees Smooth Skies Ahead After Strong First Quarter

Defense and aerospace giant Boeing Co. (BA: Quote) on Wednesday said profit in the first quarter climbed 58 percent from last year as revenue grew 30 percent on increased commercial airplane deliveries. The company raised its earnings forecast for the year, citing a reduction in a litigation-related reserve.

Jim McNerney, CEO, said, "Strong core operating performance from our production programs and services businesses continues to drive expanded earnings, revenue and cash flow for Boeing. We also grew our record backlog with more than 300 firm orders for our new 737 MAX, a contract award for 84 new F-15s for Saudi Arabia, and other key wins."

Net earnings increased to $923 million from $586 million. Earnings per share increased to $1.22 from $0.78. On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.94 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The latest results include higher pension expense as well as an increase in earnings of $0.11 per share related to a reduction in a litigation-related reserve.

Total revenues increased to $19.38 billion from $14.91 billion. Analysts expected revenues of $18.37 billion. Revenue from Commercial Airplanes climbed 54 percent to $10.94 billion on higher delivery volume and mix.

Commercial Airplanes Deliveries increased to 137 from 104. The segment booked 412 net orders during the quarter, including 301 firm orders for the 737 MAX.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security revenues rose 8 percent to $8.23 billion with a 27 percent increase in Boeing Military Aircraft and a 13 percent rise in Global Services & Support revenues. Revenue from Network & Space Systems declined 23 percent, driven by lower volume on Brigade Combat Team Modernization and timing on United Launch Alliance.

Total backlog rose to $379.8 billion from $355.5 billion at the end of December 31, 2011. The company now expects earnings for the year to be between $4.15 and $4.35, reflecting a reduction in a litigation-related reserve, compared to the previous forecast of $4.05 to $4.25 per share.

Boeing continues to expect revenues $78 billion to $80 billion and commercial airplane deliveries of 585 to 600.

Analysts expect earnings of $4.47 per share and revenues of $79.08 billion.

BA closed on Tuesday at $73.21, up from the prior close of $72.86, on a volume of 3.66 million shares. Shares are up 2.7 percent in pre-market trading.

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by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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