Boeing profits surge after tax settlement, raises earnings estimate

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New York (AFP)

Boeing's profits surged in the third quarter after a favorable US tax settlement, and the company raised some key annual projections on Wednesday as its order book stayed robust.

The aerospace giant, which has benefited from a multi-year investment boom in global air travel, reported profits of $2.4 billion for the quarter ending September 30, a 30.6 percent jump from the same period of the prior year. Revenues rose 3.8 percent to $25.1 billion.

Boeing lifted its full-year revenue forecast range by $1 billion to $98-100 billion.

Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg pointed to "strong underlying performance" as well as growth "across our businesses ... throughout the year" as factors in boosting 2018 revenue and earnings forecasts.

Commercial airplane deliveries actually fell compared with a year earlier, but profit margins in the business surged on higher production of key planes.

The company booked 171 net orders, a decline from the second quarter, but well above the prior year's level.

Boeing's defense business turned in an operating loss due to $691 million in one-time costs connected to investment programs. But the company scored major new defense contracts during the quarter.

Boeing also set aside $112 million in higher costs for the KC-46 transport aircraft, the latest over-runs on the program.

But those hits were partly offset by a $412 million benefit from a 2013-2014 tax settlement.

The results topped analyst expectations for earnings-per-share and revenues, and could alleviate worries that US industrial companies will all be big losers from the US-China trade conflict. Boeing has been seen as vulnerable on that front because of its substantial China business.

The company's share price surged 4.1 percent to $364.50 in pre-market trading.