Boeing Co.’s annual sales topped $100 billion for the first time in its 102-year history, and the U.S. planemaker said new gains are on tap for 2019 as it bounces back from production snarls with its 737 jetliners.
Sales rose 14% to $28.3 billion, beating expectations.
Adjusted fourth-quarter profit climbed to $5.48 a share, compared with the $4.59 average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Adjusted earnings will be $19.90 to $20.10 a share this year as sales climbed across all businesses, Boeing said in a statement on Jan. 30 as it reported quarterly results. Analysts had expected $18.44. Operating cash flow will be as much as $17.5 billion.
Sales rose across all businesses at the end of the year, pushing annual revenue to $101.1 billion. The defense division’s 16% sales gain in the fourth quarter softened the blow from factory stumbles that slowed deliveries of the workhorse 737 jetliner, Boeing’s biggest source of profit.
Costly out-of-sequence work on commercial aircraft weighed on results, dragging free cash flow down to $2.45 billion in the fourth quarter. Increased jetliner production is crucial to Boeing’s plans to boost cash flow.
The shares rose 6.5% to $388.50 before the start of regular trading in New York. Boeing advanced 13% this year through Jan. 29, outpacing the 5.4% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
By Julie Johnsson