MINNEAPOLIS – Quicker deliveries of Boeing’s commercial airplanes helped it report a 20-per cent jump in fourth-quarter profits, and offset sluggish growth in its defence business.
The company also offered a weaker earnings outlook than analysts expected for 2012, and its shares fell in premarket trading.
Boeing posted net income of $1.39 billion Wednesday, or $1.84 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1 per share. Revenue was $19.56 billion, also better than expected.
Boeing delivered 128 commercial planes during the quarter, up from 116 a year ago. Profits from commercial planes jumped 56 per cent. Revenue rose 31 per cent.
Profits from defence rose 6 per cent. Revenue rose 4 per cent. Military spending in the U.S. and Europe is slowing, and Boeing says defence revenue will fall roughly 5 per cent in 2012.
Boeing predicted a 2012 profit of $4.05 to $4.25 per share. Analysts had been expecting a profit of $4.90 per share. Not counting 83 cents per share in higher-than-expected pension expense and other one-time items, Boeing expects an adjusted profit of $5.06 to $5.26 per share.
The company forecast revenue of $78 billion to $80 billion. Analysts were expecting $78.45 billion.
Boeing, based in Chicago, says it plans to deliver 585 to 600 commercial planes this year, up from 477 last year. It delivered three of its new 787s last year, and nine of its new 747-8 superjumbo jets. Boeing says revenue from commercial planes will grow at least 31 per cent this year.
Shares fell $1.15 in premarket trading to $74.21.