Chicago-based aircraft maker Boeing Co. on Wednesday announced higher-than-expected profit in the third quarter, stemming from strong sales of commercial airplanes and healthy profit margins in its defense business. However, earnings were hurt by higher pension costs.
Boeing reported it earned $1 billion in profit during the third quarter, down slightly from $1.1 billion in the same quarter of last year. Earnings per share of $1.35 beat Wall Street estimates of $1.13. Revenue increased 13 percent to $20 billion, which matched estimates. Earnings in the quarter were hampered by higher pension expense of $194 million, or 18 cents per share.
"Strong core operating performance drove increased earnings in both our major businesses, along with higher overall revenues, improved cash flow, and solid earnings per share even as pension headwinds rose," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement.
The company's commercial airplanes segment, which sells aircraft to airlines around the world, saw third-quarter revenue increased by 28 percent to $12.2 billion. The division booked 369 orders during the quarter.
Boeing raised its earnings forecast for 2012 to between $4.80 and $4.95 per share, up from a previous estimate of $4.40 and $4.60 citing its "strong core operating performance." It also raised its revenue forecast to between $80.5 billion and $82 billion, up from between $79.5 and $81.5 billion, on higher projected revenue from its defense, space and security business.
Shares up 3.3 percent in premarket trading.
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