Boeing Tops Estimates but Shares Fall on Disappointing Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Boeing ( BA) 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.

"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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