Boeing Swings Back to Profit as Sales Soar

Q4 earnings were $1.268 billion

Boeing on Jan. 27 posted earnings for the fourth quarter of $1.268 billion.

The results compared with a loss of $86 million in the same period a year earlier, when earnings were hit by a strike and charges to modify its 747 aircraft.

Revenues for the October-December period rose 42% to $17.93 billion, slightly better than expectations.

"We put a strong finish on 2009 by getting the 787 in the air and generating solid core operating performance across the company," said Jim McNerney, Boeing CEO, referring to the new Dreamliner aircraft whose first test flight took place last month.

"Focus areas for 2010 are to continue our strong operational performance, certify and deliver the 787 and 747-8, and further reposition our defense, space and security business.

"While the challenges ahead are significant, I believe we have the people and the resources we need to be successful and to begin consistently delivering on this company's great potential."

For all of 2009, Boeing said it had net profit of $1.312 billion, less than half it made in the prior year. Full-year revenue rose to $68.281 billion, a 12% rise from 2008, lifted by an increase in commercial aircraft sales and growth in the defense unit.

The commercial aircraft division had a net loss of $600 million for the year because of problems with the much-delayed new 787 Dreamliner program and the wide-body 747.

Orders stood at 3,375 aircraft valued at $250 billion..

The defense unit's sales rose 5% from a year ago, with an operating margin up 2%.

For 2010, Boeing said it expects revenue to be between $64 and $66 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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