Boeing boosts 2005 outlook as quarterly net rises


SAN FRANCISCO (XFNews) -- Boeing Co. said Wednesday that third-quarter net income rose, helped by a tax benefit and a divestment, though sales fell 4% after a strike shut down the company's commercial-jet production line for nearly a month.

Chicago-based Boeing also lifted profit forecasts for both 2005 and 2006.

The company reported third-quarter net income of $1.01 billion, or $1.26 a share, compared with $456 million or 56 cents, earned in the same period in 2004.

The aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor said the earnings included a tax benefit amounting to 62 cents a share, as well as a 45-cent benefit from the sale of Rocketdyne and a 14-cent charge for post-retirement expense related to the sale of it Wichita and Tulsa operations.

In addition, the month-long International Association of Machinists strike led to 21 fewer airplane deliveries in the quarter and reduced results by 25 cents to 30 cents a share, Boeing said.

Boeing's revenue fell 4% in the quarter to $12.63 billion from $13.15 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting, on average, earnings of 80 cents a share before items and $13.34 billion in sales.

Boeing delivered 62 airplanes in the quarter, down from 64 a year earlier.

Revenue at its integrated defense systems unit fell 11% to $7.38 billion, though earnings rose 60% to $1.3 billion.

So far this year, Boeing's stock is up 30%. The stock, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, fell 0.5% Tuesday to $66.97 and slipped in pre-market dealings on Wednesday.

Boeing said it expects to deliver 290 airplanes in 2005, down from a previous estimate of 320, because of the strike, but this would still be up from 285 deliveries last year. The company's delivery forecast for 2006 remains at about 395 airplanes.

The company's 2005 revenue would fall to $55.5 billion, reflecting the strike and slower integrated defense growth. Revenue for 2006 remains projected at $62 billion, Boeing said.

As revised, the company now sees 2005's profit at $2.95 to $3.05 a share, up from $2.75 to $2.85 previously, and boosted its 2006 earnings forecast to between $3.10 and $3.30 a share, up from $3 to $3.20 a share, mostly as a result of expectations for better commercial-air margins

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