Boeing said Wednesday its fourth-quarter revenue surged 26 percent, boosted by a strong performance in its Commercial Airplane and Integrated Defense Systems businesses.
The aerospace and defense giant posted sales of $17.6 billion in the quarter, versus the $13.9 billion of a year ago. Fourth quarter net earnings more than doubled to $989 million, or $1.29 per share, from $460 million, or $0.58 per share, a year ago.
Boeing boosted its 2007 earnings-per-share guidance to between $4.55 and $4.75, and set its 2008 guidance at between $5.55 and $5.75, reflecting expected strong revenue growth and expanding margins across its businesses. The company's 2007 R&D forecast is unchanged and R&D spending is expected to decline in 2008.
Boeing's revenue guidance for 2007 is now between $64.5 billion and $65 billion, and for 2008, the company expects revenue of between $71 and $72 billion.
The company said its order backlog for commercial airplanes at year end reached record levels, at $250 billion, up 22 percent for the year.
"2006 was a very good year for Boeing. We achieved new records in revenue, cash flow and backlog, and overcame some meaningful challenges by focusing on improving productivity and meeting our commitments," said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Jim McNerney. "This focus on performance gives us the confidence to set high expectations for 2007 and 2008."
Boeing said its 787 Dreamliner program has won 452 firm orders from 36 customers since its launch in 2004. The company noted the validation of the manufacturing plan which culminated in a “virtual rollout” in December, and said the program continues to address pressures with respect to weight and supplier implementation.
"Flight testing of the Dreamliner begins this year, with entry into service scheduled for May 2008," the company said. "Boeing continues to expect the 787 will be delivered on time and in accord with its contractual obligations."
Commercial airline orders, as measured in the monthly durable goods report from the Commerce Department, have been fairly strong of late, and while orders for these non-defense aircraft can be volatile, the trend for the back half of 2006 was positive.