Boeing profits from less taxing time in the first quarter and for the rest of 2017

Oliver Gill
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Boeing had previously said aircraft deliveries were down in the first quarter of 2017 (Source: Getty)

The world's largest aircraft manufacturer today gave the market a double dose of good news when reporting its first quarter figures.

Boeing’s net earnings were 19 per cent higher at $1.5bn (£1.2bn), a surprise to many analysts who were expecting a fall after the Chicago-headquartered firm said earlier this month aircraft deliveries had been flagging and were lower in the first three months of 2017.

The second piece of good news was that full-year earnings were upgraded by Boeing by 10 cents per share.

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But the driving force behind the projected increase in earnings, a lower tax rate, meant investors remained unimpressed. Shares fell in trading by over 1.5 per cent.

Robert Stallard, an analyst at Vertical Research Partners, wrote in a research note: “We don't see investors giving Boeing much credit for a tax driven EPS ‘beat & raise’.”

Revenue fell by seven per cent to $21bn, but operating margin grew from 7.9 per cent to 9.6 per cent and Boeing’s operating cashflow jumped 64 per cent from $1.3bn to $2.1bn.

Boeing chairman, president and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said: “With a sharp focus on performance and productivity, our team delivered another quarter of solid financial results, including year-over-year earnings growth and strong operating cash flow.

“In turn, we continued to position Boeing for growth with investments in new products and services, innovation, and our people, while again demonstrating our commitment to return significant cash to our shareholders.

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"We also achieved major milestones, including the certification of the new 737 MAX 8 and first flight of the 787-10 Dreamliner, and we captured a $3.4bn contract award for 268 Apache helicopters.

"We remain on track to achieve our full-year revenue, earnings and cash flow targets as our teams deliver on our large and diverse order backlog. As we do so, we're focused on accelerating productivity, quality and safety improvements, strengthening execution on development programmes, and capturing new business opportunities."

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