Boeing Beats Estimates and Boosts 787 Target to 14 Monthly by 2020

CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- Boeing ( BA) beat Wall Street earnings estimates, raised guidance and projected continuing growth in production of the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing, which said third-quarter earnings rose 16% on the strength of higher commercial aircraft deliveries, said Wednesday it will boost Dreamliner production, slated to reach 10 a month by the end of the year, to 12 a month by 2016 and to 14 a month by 2020.

The aircraft maker and defense company said it earned $2.1 billion, or $1.80 a share, excluding items. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $1.55. Revenue rose 11% to $22.1 billion. Analysts had estimated $21.7 billion.

In premarket trading Wednesday, shares were gaining $4.97 to $127.45.

Looking ahead, the company raised full-year 2013 guidance to between $6.50 and $6.65 a share, slightly ahead of estimates. Analysts had been estimating $6.52. GAAP earnings per share guidance was increased to between $5.40 and $5.55 a share.

"Consistently strong operating performance is driving higher earnings, revenue and cash flow as we deliver on our record backlog and return increased value to shareholders," said CEO Jim McNerney, in a prepared statement.

Third-quarter revenue at Boeing Commercial Airplanes rose to $14 billion and operating margin improved to 11.6% on higher delivery volume and continued strong operating performance. BCA delivered 170 aircraft and completed the first flight of the 787-9 during the quarter

Boeing Defense, Space & Security captured $7 billion in new orders. Third-quarter revenue was $8 billion, while operating margin was 8.4%. Boeing Military Aircraft third-quarter revenue was $3.5 billion, primarily reflecting lower delivery volume, and operating margin decreased to 6.2%. Backlog at Defense, Space & Security was $70 billion, of which 38% represents orders from international customers.

"Despite the uncertainty of the U.S. defense market, overall our customer-focused business strategies and disciplined execution on our programs are producing the results we expect," McNerney said.

During the quarter, Boeing repurchased 7.6 million shares for 800 million and paid $400 million in dividends, reflecting an 11% dividend increase from a year earlier.

Boeing's backlog grew to a record $415 billion including $27 billion worth of net orders during the quarter.

Looking ahead, Boeing expects full-year revenue between $83 billion and $86 billion, with core earnings per share between $6.50 and $6.65 a share. Commercial Airplanes would deliver 635 to 645 aircraft, producing revenue of $51 billion to $53 billion and operating cash flow of $7 billion. Defense, Space & Security is expected to produce full-year revenue between $31.5 billion and $32.5 billion and an operating margin of 9.25%.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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