Boeing beats Wall Street earning targets in Q4

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Boeing blasted past Wall Street projections in the fourth quarter on strong earnings performance from its military aircraft division and improved margins on commercial aircraft sales.

The company's fourth quarter earnings from operations jumped 45% from the same period a year ago, allowing earnings per share to beat Wall Streat projections by 82%. Full year earnings also climbed 18% to $5.8 billion, with the commercial aircraft sector contributing a 16% increase and the defence sector adding 10%.

The results allow Boeing to enter 2012 with "renewed momentum," said Boeing CEO Jim NcNerney.

With its production continuing to accelerate, Boeing estimates that it will deliver 585 to 600 commercial aircraft in 2012, approaching its highest production year since 1999 when it delivered 620 aircraft after merging with McDonnell Douglas.

Deliveries next year are expected to include an almost even split of between 70 to 85 787s and 747-8s.

Boeing has recorded a full-year net profit of $4.02 billion for 2011, an increase of 21% over the previous year with an operating margin of 8.5%, up 1.5 percentage points over 2010.

The commercial and defence manufacturer's revenues increased 7% to $68.7 billion.

For the fourth quarter ending 31 December 2011, Boeing reported an 20% increase in net profit over the same period a year earlier on $19.5 billion in revenues and higher commercial deliveries.

Operating cash flow at the close of the year rose 36% to $4.02 billion.

Boeing's commercial backlog stands in excess of 3,700 aircraft with a contract value of $298 billion.