Boeing displays planes at Farnborough International Airshow Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

Boeing Profits Soar, Confirming 2015 Forecasts

Boeing reported a 38% first-quarter net profit from 2014, and remained the second-best performer on the blue-chip index this year.

NEW YORK - Aerospace giant Boeing reported Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit increased 38% from a year ago and reaffirmed its 2015 forecasts for financial results and deliveries.

Net earnings totaled $1.34 billion in the first three months of the year, compared with $965 million in the 2014 first quarter. Adjusted earnings of $1.97 per share came in well above Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.81.

Higher commercial aircraft deliveries pushed revenue to $22.15 billion, up 8% from a year ago but slightly below the $22.49 billion analysts expected.

"The strong operational and financial performance reinforces our ability to continue providing competitive returns for our shareholders while investing in technology and our people," Boeing chairman and chief executive Jim McNerney said in a statement.

The Boeing Company said it ended the first quarter with a $9.6 billion cash cushion, after repurchasing 17 million shares for $2.5 billion and raising dividends by about 25% compared with a year ago. The company planned to repurchase the remaining $9.5 billion shares in its buyback program over the next two to three years.

The Chicago-based company finished the first quarter with a total company backlog of $495 billion, including more than 5,700 jetliner orders.

During the first quarter, deliveries rose 14% to 184 jetliners, lifting the Commercial Airplanes segment's revenue by 21% to $15.4 billion. Boeing booked 110 net orders for jetliners, with almost half of them for its new version of the best-selling 737 workhorse, the 737 MAX.

Boeing's much smaller Defense, Space & Security business saw revenue fall 12% from a year ago to $6.71 billion amid U.S. defense spending cutbacks. About a third of its backlog represented orders from international customers.

For all of 2015, Boeing confirmed its forecast of revenue of $94.5-96.5 billion, and adjusted earnings per share of $8.20-8.40. The average analyst estimate is $94.8 billion in revenue and $8.49 earnings per share.

Boeing expects to deliver around 750 commercial aircraft this year, with that division producing revenue of $64.5-65.5 billion. Boeing has been the second-best performer on the blue-chip index in the year to date, scoring a 17.96% gain.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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