Buoyed by continued strength in the commercial airlines market, both

General Dynamics

(GD) - Get Report

and

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

exceeded Wall Street's earnings expectations for the second quarter.

Seattle-based Boeing, the largest manufacturer of planes in the world, said Wednesday that it earned $654 million, or 75 cents a share, excluding a one-time charge for a planned rocket test, in the three months ended June 30, vs. $520 million, or 56 cents a share, excluding the effect of a tax settlement, in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

projected earnings of 67 cents per share.

Revenue slipped to $14.8 billion from $14.9 billion, excluding the extraordinary items. The strong second quarter follows a first quarter in which the aerospace giant settled a 40-day strike by engineers.

"The company's outlook reflects the strength of the commercial airplane market and our continuing overall improved performance," said Phil Condit, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "Our cash flow is strong and we now expect 2000 cash flow to be between $3 billion and $4 billion." Boeing has also increased its revenue projections for this year and 2001 to $51 billion and $53 billion, respectively.

Boeing fell in morning trading, dropping 15/16, or 2%, to 44 3/16.

Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics, the fourth-biggest U.S. defense contractor, on Wednesday said that its second-quarter earnings rose 17%, led by sales of Gulfstream business jets and its information systems and technology group.

"Gulfstream had its best quarter for new orders in a year and a half," said General Dynamics Chairman and Chief Executive Nicholas D. Chabraja in a statement. That unit saw a 16% increase in sales and a 30% jump in earnings, the company said

General Dynamics' combat systems group saw sales fall by 6%, though earnings rose by 6%, the company said.

The company said it earned $204 million, or $1.01 a share, vs. $175 million, or 86 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had projected the company to earn 98 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Sales rose 25 percent, to $2.62 billion from $2.09 billion.

General Dynamics shares rose 1 3/16, or 2%, to 54 1/4.