Boeing Reaches Cruising Altitude as Earnings Take Off

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Investors are showing strong support for Boeing (NYSE:BA) in the wake of its quarterly earnings report, which was released on Wednesday morning. Shares opened considerably higher and remained up about 2 percent throughout Wednesday’s intraday trading session as Boeing’s strong quarter was dissected by analysts and observers.

Boeing’s first-quarter revenue increased 8 percent to $20.5 billion, thanks to higher commercial volume. Core earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis increased 14 percent to $1.76 after excluding a benefit of 19 cents per share for the 2012 research and development tax credit recorded in the first quarter of 2013, the company said in its statement.

In its commercial sector, revenues grew 19 percent to $12.74 billion as operating profit leapt 23 percent to $1.5 billion. Operating margins edged upward slightly, reaching 11.8 percent, versus the 11.4 percent from the first quarter of last year. Deliveries amounting to 161 planes came in well above last year’s 137 planes, and Boeing booked 235 net orders, leading to a backlog of over 5,100 airplanes valued at $374 billion.

“Disciplined execution across our production and development programs produced strong first quarter results,” Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said. “We measurably increased revenue, core operating earnings and cash flow, and expanded core operating margins. This financial and operational strength enabled the return of more than $3 billion to shareholders in the quarter through share repurchase and an increased dividend, even as we continued to invest in our future.”

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