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Boeing Tops Estimates but Shares Fall on Disappointing Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Boeing (BA - Get Report) beat Wall Street estimates as per-share earnings rose 29% on increased deliveries of commercial aircraft. But the aircraft maker issued disappointing current year guidance.

Boeing said it earned $1.8 billion, or $1.88 a share, in the fourth quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $1.57. Revenue rose 7% to $23.8 billion. Analysts had estimated $22.7 billion.

Excluding items, largely a $406 million charge to settle litigation, fourth-quarter earnings were $1.23 billion, or $1.61 a share, up from $978 million, or $1.28 a share, a year earlier, and core operating margin rose to 9.4%.

Looking ahead, Boeing issued 2014 earnings guidance of $7 to $7.20 a share. Analysts had been estimating $7.57. Revenue guidance was set at between $87.5 billion and $90.5 billion, Analysts had been estimating $92.7 billion. The company also guided to between 715 and 725 commercial aircraft deliveries, up from 648 deliveries in 2013 and 601 deliveries in 2012.

"Strong fourth-quarter results underscored an outstanding full year of core operating performance that drove record revenue and earnings and increased returns to shareholders," said CEO Jim McNerney, in a prepared statement.

Must Read: Ford Beats Wall Street Estimates, Sees 'Solid' 2014

"Our Commercial Airplanes business accelerated delivery of its record backlog by successfully increasing production rates while also achieving important development milestones on the 737 MAX and 787-9 and launching the new 787-10 and 777X models with an unprecedented customer response, " McNerney said. "Our Defense, Space & Security unit overcame a tough operating environment to record expanded revenue, earnings and margins."

During the quarter, Boeing Commercial Airplane revenue was $14.7 billion, while operating margin was 10.3%. Boeing Defense, Space & Security's revenue rose 6% to $8.9 billion, while operating margin increased to 10.8 percent.

At year-end, Boeing had cash and investments totaling $15.3 billion and debt of $9.6 billion.

In premarket trading on Wednesday, Boeing shares were down $1.59 to $135.50.

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

To contact this writer, click here.

Follow @tedreednc

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