Jan. 29 - Boeing is working hard to meet demand for its new planes, which boosted net profits ahead of analysts forecasts, but the aerospace giant's cautious 2014 outlook was softer than expected. Fred Katayama reports.
Speeding up production of its planes, like the 787 Dreamliner, to work off its fat order backlog boosted Boeing's bottom line big time. Net income soared 26 percent on rising revenues in the latest quarter. The aerospace giant is benefitting from huge demand as airlines in developed countries replace older fleets with its more fuel efficient jets. Its record backlog is so big it'll keep assembly lines running for eight years. Boeing delivered more airplanes than archrival Airbus for the second straight year, and it expects to deliver even more this year. But it delivered a weak outlook for profit and revenue that falls short of analysts' forecasts. So Boeing's high-flying stock - the top performer on the Dow last year - fell in early trading. RBC analyst Robert Stallard said: "Boeing has started the last two years with a pretty conservative guide which it has subsequently beaten by avoiding any major execution problems. We would therefore be not too concerned by the earnings per share gap." Some analysts wonder whether the good news in a banner year has already been priced into the stock, which rose more than 80 percent last year despite battery issues that dogged the 787.