Boeing Focused on Fixing Dreamliner Troubles

787 With Mt Rainier in DistanceK65116
787 With Mt Rainier in DistanceK65116

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) reported fourth-quarter and full-year results before markets opened this morning. For the quarter, the aircraft maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.46 on revenues of $22.3 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.92 on revenues of $19.56 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for $1.19 EPS and $22.36 billion in revenues.

For the full year, Boeing posted adjusted EPS of $5.88 on revenues of $81.7 billion, compared with EPS of $5.79 on revenues of $68.74 billion in 2011. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $5.01 on revenues of $81.75 billion.

On a GAAP basis, the company posted fourth-quarter EPS of $1.28 and full-year EPS of $5.11.

The company's CEO said:

In a year of considerable achievement, Boeing was the commercial aviation market leader for both orders and deliveries, with more than 600 airplanes delivered, including the first three Charleston-built 787 Dreamliners. … Our first order of business for 2013 is to resolve the battery issue on the 787 and return the airplanes safely to service with our customers.

It is those Dreamliners that are giving the company and investors fits. The new plane has displayed a number of issues from cracked skins to battery fires, and many of the planes have been grounded until the fire problem is resolved. The battery issue did not come to light until early this year, so it had no impact on 2012 results. The company is continuing to build the plane, but is suspending deliveries until it gets clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing's backlog going into 2013 totals $390 billion in value, reflecting $112 billion in new orders during 2012.

The company guided 2013 full-year revenues at $82 to $85 billion and adjusted EPS in the range of $6.10 to $6.30. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $5.13 on revenues of $88.19 billion.

While the 787 Dreamliner problems get most of the headlines, the company's venerable 737 gets the bulk of the orders. Of the 635 to 645 planes the company expects to deliver in 2013, only 60 are Dreamliners.

Boeing's shares are up about 1.3% in pre-market trading at $74.60 in a 52-week range of $66.82 to $78.02. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $88.70 before today's report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Aerospace & Defense, Earnings Tagged: BA