US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has raised its 2014 profit outlook despite a first-quarter profit slide, citing strong demand for its new jetliners.
A sharp rise in pension costs from a change in retirement plans offset Boeing’s robust commercial aircraft deliveries as airlines seek to renew ageing fleets with more fuel-efficient jetliners.
Boeing posted net profit in the first quarter of $US965 million ($A1.03 billion), down 12.7 per cent from a year ago but nevertheless better than analysts expected.
Boeing took a $334 million charge for retirement plan changes.
Core earnings per share came in at $1.76, three cents higher than a year ago and well above the $1.56 estimate.
Boeing posted an 8.3 per cent rise in revenues to $20.47 billion, and operating cash flow soared 112 per cent to $1.1 billion.
The Chicago-based company raised its 2014 profit forecast to between $7.15 and $7.35 per share, from $7.00 to $7.20, to reflect a tax settlement.
“Our outlook for the full year remains positive on the strength of demand for our fuel-efficient new commercial aeroplanes, our solid position in global defence, space and security markets” and the company’s focus on improving financial and operational strength, Boeing chairman and chief executive Jim McNerney said in a statement.
Though the 2015 earnings forecast missed Wall Street expectations, Boeing shares scored a solid gain.
Investors received more than $3 billion during the quarter through its share repurchase program and dividends.
Boeing shares jumped 2.1 per cent to $130.24 in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, the best performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in an overall lower market.
Commercial aircraft revenues climbed 19 per cent to $12.74 billion on higher deliveries of two of its best-selling models — the 787 Dreamliner and the 737 — after the company boosted production rates to cope with surging demand.