The Boeing Company Earnings: Earnings Higher Than Expected

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Boeing is an aerospace firm that designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, and human space flight services.

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The Boeing Company Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the aerospace/defense products and services company rose to $1.39 billion ($1.84 per share) vs. $1.16 billion ($1.56 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 19.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 18.2% to $19.55 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: BA beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.02 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $19.4 billion.

Quoting Management: “Strong fourth-quarter operating performance, record revenue and backlog, and expanded earnings and cash flow capped a year of substantial progress for Boeing in 2011,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “Major accomplishments of our team during the year included certifying and delivering the first 787s and 747-8s, winning the U.S. Air Force Tanker program, launching the 737 MAX, and securing both an important U.S. missile defense contract and a key agreement for F-15s to Saudi Arabia.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 31.2% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 19.6%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 35 cents in the third quarter, by 28 cents in the second quarter, and by 8 cents in the first quarter.

Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. In the third quarter, revenue rose 4.5% to $17.73 billion while the figure rose 6.2% in the second quarter from the year earlier.

Gross margins grew 12.5 percentage points to 31.4%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose 18.2% from the year earlier quarter while costs remained unchanged.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has fallen from $1.20 per share to $1.08, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fiscal year has climbed from $4.26 per to share to $4.50.

Competitors to Watch: Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT), Embraer SA (NYSE:ERJ), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC), Honeywell Intl. Inc. (NYSE:HON), Spirit AeroSystems Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:SPR), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD), Orbital Sciences Corp. (NYSE:ORB), Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK), and Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at