Boeing's first-quarter earnings jumped nearly 20 percent, showing little impact from the 787 Dreamliner problems.Boeing, in its quarterly report on Wednesday, stood by its sales and earnings forecasts for the full year, reassuring investors that it expects to deliver all of the jets it had planned, including 787s.The company did not release a cost estimate for the Dreamliner problems, as some analysts had expected.The Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's fix for the battery system last week, and 787 deliveries are set to resume shortly. Boeing and airlines already are prepping the planes for a return to passenger service.First-quarter net income rose to USD$1.1 billion, from USD$923 million a year earlier.Revenue slipped 2.5 percent to USD$18.9 billion, hit by a halt in 787 deliveries.Analysts did not expect the cost of the Dreamliner fix to be significant compared with the USD$20 billion expense of developing the jet.In any case, investors were prepared to overlook the cost of the fix, analysts said, because it has been amply flagged and factored into the stock price. Boeing shares have risen 18.6 percent since regulators grounded the 787 on January 16.Analysts focused on the ability of Boeing's commercial plane unit to receive cash by delivering jets - cash that can be used to buy back shares, pay dividends or invest in new aircraft programmes, all of which are considered positive for the stock price.Cash fell by USD$2 billion in the latest quarter, less than some analysts had expected. Boeing's confidence about its ability to make up the 787 deliveries in the rest of the year allayed fears about further cash depletion."The market was likely apprehensive as to what the (787) cost might be, but this quarter's performance and confirmed guidance put those concerns to rest," said Carter Leake, senior equity analyst for aerospace at BB&T Capital Markets. Source: Reuters
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