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Boeing Tops 3Q Forecasts, Sells More Commercial Planes

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 4:28am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Boeing posted an $837 million third-quarter profit on Wednesday and raised its profit guidance for the full year as it sold more commercial airplanes.

Boeing has already made plans to raise production rates on the 737, its best-selling plane. The improved 2010 guidance reflects a strong outlook for commercial planes. Orders and deliveries have rebounded this year, reversing a decline that occurred when airlines pulled back on orders during the recession.

Boeing expects to deliver 460 commercial planes this year, at the low end of what it predicted in April.

The aircraft maker repeated its hope to deliver the new 787 in the middle of the first quarter of 2011, and the latest version of the 747 in the middle of the year. Both planes are late — more than two years for the 787.

Boeing's revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 2 percent to $16.97 billion. Net income worked out to $1.12 per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of $1.06 per share on revenue of $16.81 billion.

During the third quarter last year, Boeing lost almost $1.6 billion as it took charges because of delays for the 787 and 747-8.

Boeing now expects to earn $3.80 to $4 per share for the full year. It expects revenue of $64.5 billion to $65.5 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $3.96 per share on revenue of $64.5 billion.

Boeing gets roughly half its revenue from commercial planes and half from defense, space and security.

The commercial aircraft division saw revenue rise 11 percent to $8.75 billion. It posted an operating profit of just over $1 billion, after losing $2.84 billion a year earlier. It delivered 124 commercial planes, up from 113 a year earlier.

Defense contractors have been struggling because the Pentagon and overseas customers have tightened the reins on military spending. On Tuesday, Boeing competitor Lockheed Martin said its third-quarter profit fell 28 percent.

At Boeing's defense, space, and security unit, revenue fell 6 percent to $8.18 billion for the quarter. Its profit dropped 23 percent to $684 million. Profits from military planes fell 35 percent to $312 million, and profits from its space work fell 40 percent to $152 million.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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