Boeing beats the profit estimates

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Rising jet production helped Boeing post a 14 per cent rise in adjusted net profit in the first quarter, beating estimates, and the company notched up its full-year forecast.

On a non-adjusted basis, however, Boeing’s profit slid 13 per cent to $965m (£574.50m), or $1.28 per share, down from $1.11bn, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier, the company reported yesterday.

Revenue at the world’s biggest plane maker rose 8 per cent to $20.47bn in the quarter ended March 31 from $18.89bn a year earlier.

Core earnings, which exclude some pension and other costs, rose to $1.76 per share from $1.73 a year ago.

But the increase was 14 per cent after excluding a one-time gain of 19 cents a share for a research and development tax credit booked in 2013.

For 2014, the company lifted its core earnings forecast to be between $7.15 per share and $7.35 per share, up from the prior forecast of between $7.00 and $7.20.

The increase reflects a tax settlement gain to be taken in the second quarter, and Boeing left 2014 forecasts for revenue, operating cash flow and deliveries unchanged.

Boeing’s adjusted earnings included a $334m charge from retirement plan changes in the first quarter for moving non-union employees to defined contribution savings plan from a defined benefit plan. The move takes place in 2016.

The first quarter results reflected a weak comparison with a year ago, when Boeing delivered just one 787 Dreamliner in the first quarter of 2013. Deliveries were halted that month after two incidents in which batteries on the planes burned, prompting regulators to ground the global Dreamliner fleet for three months.

As a result, commercial airplane deliveries rose nearly 18 per cent to 161 in the latest quarter, up from 137 a year ago.

The number, which was previously reported, was higher than some analysts’ forecasts and reflected increasing production rates for Boeing’s best-selling 737 jetliner and its high-tech 787 Dreamliner.