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Boeing Profit Tops Expectations; Forecasts Strong 2018

Paul Thompson
flickr Creative Commons

Boeing Co. is forecasting better-than-expected earnings and revenue in 2018.

Along with rival Airbus, Boeing is benefiting from demand for new airliners that has created huge backlogs lasting several years. Aircraft deliveries are generating immediate cash faster than Wall Street expected.

Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita's largest employer, is a major supplier to Boeing and also does work for Airbus. Spirit will release its fourth-quarter and 2017 financial report on Friday.

Boeing's fourth-quarter profit nearly doubled from a year ago, to $3.13 billion, helped by strong deliveries and recent tax legislation.

Revenue rose to $25.37 billion from $23.29 billion, beating analysts' prediction of $24.83 billion.

Commercial airplane deliveries rose 13 percent to 209 airplanes.

Boeing expects 2018 adjusted earnings between $13.80 and $14 per share and revenue in a range of $96 billion and $98 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting earnings of $11.91 per share and revenue of $93.36 billion.

Cai von Rumohr, an analyst for Cowen and Co., said investors should like the strong fourth-quarter results, the 2018 forecast and progress in controlling costs for the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing is speeding up production of its workhorse 737 plane and the 787 to take advantage of strong demand. Spirit manufactures major parts of both planes.

The company finished 2017 with a backlog of about 5,800 airliners with a list value of $488 billion.