Boeing delivered more commercial planes, especially 737s and 787s, fueling profit. But it issued a mixed outlook. Fred Katayama reports.
Boeing delivered a lot more commercial planes, and that fueled profit sharply higher in the latest quarter. Driving revenue: the ever popular narrow bodied 737 and its newest jet, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing sped up production to prevent awaiting customers from shifting to rival Airbus. That helped Boeing's beat Airbus in deliveries and set an industry record as airlines clamored for planes to meet the pent-up demand for travel. While deliveries were strong on the commercial side, they fell for most of Boeing's military aircraft amid cutbacks in U.S. military spending. But Boeing issued a mixed outlook. Its estimated profit for this year fell shy of Wall Street's forecasts. The aerospace giant predicts operating cash flow of more than $9 billion, which was just above estimates. That's important because investors want to gauge how successful Boeing is in cutting production costs on the Dreamliner, which would add to its cash flow. Boeing's backlog of commercial jets grew to 5800 planes. Analysts are concerned that low fuel prices could tempt airlines to defer deliveries of more fuel-efficient planes or cancel orders. Boeing's stock, which has been rather steady despite the oil price slide, rose in early trading.