Boeing reports financial pluses (and a few minuses)

Dennis Muilenburg
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says the supply chain for 737 jet production is returning to a healthy condition. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing’s third-quarter financial results exceeded expectations, leading the company to raise its outlook for the full year — and leading investors to bid up Boeing’s share price.

Adjusted earnings per share amounted to $3.58, which was nearly 4 percent higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate and 37 percent higher than the year-ago figures. Total revenue was $25.1 billion, 4 percent higher than last year’s third quarter.

Boeing updated its guidance for 2018, raising its revenue projection by $1 billion to the range of $98 billion to $100 billion. Projected earnings per share got a similar boost, rising 60 cents to the range of $14.90 to $15.10.

“With growing markets and opportunities ahead, our team remains intensely focused on growth, innovation and accelerating productivity improvement to fuel our investments in the future,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said today during a conference call with reporters and analysts.

On the plus side, Boeing pointed to higher-than-expected margins on 787 Dreamliner jet sales and strong operating performance on commercial aircraft production programs. The company also scored a hat trick for defense contracts, winning the Air Force’s go-ahead to build T-X training jets and MH-139 helicopters, as well as the Navy’s nod for MQ-25 drone tankers.

Boeing took a $691 million charge to cover investments related to those contracts, which was partially offset by the $412 million benefit of a tax audit settlement.

There was also a $176 million charge related to delays in delivering the Air Force’s KC-46 tanker. Muilenburg said the first deliveries were now on track for the fourth quarter, reiterating a schedule he laid out earlier this month at the GeekWire Summit. Boeing has absorbed more than $3 billion in cost overruns on the fixed-price KC-46 contract.

Muilenburg said Boeing was making progress on supply-chain snags that resulted in a logjam of unfinished 737 jets at its Renton factory this summer. “We’re continuing to ramp up on our recovery plan,” he said.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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