Boeing posts higher first quarter profit on lower revenues

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Boeing reported a 13% year-over-year increase in first quarter net profit to $586 million, despite planned lower 777 deliveries and a 2% decrease in quarterly revenues.

Net profit rose from $519 million during the first quarter of 2011, while quarterly revenues declined slightly from $15.2 billion to $14.9 billion.

The company's operating earnings for the quarter declined 15% to $1 billion, slimming the overall operating margin from 7.7% to 6.7%.

Having delivered 104 commercial aircraft in the first quarter, 4% lower than the same period in 2010, Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported a 5% drop in revenues to $7.1 billion, leading to a 25% drop in operating profit to $509 million.

Boeing attributed the drop to fewer planned 777 deliveries, though recently returned the 777 production rate to seven aircraft per month in March.

Due to "lower deliveries and higher R&D" the company's commercial operating margin dropped from 9.1% to 7.2%.

Additionally, the company reaffirmed its delivery guidance of 12 to 40 787s and 747-8s, with deliveries of the new freighter beginning mid-year, with the 787 to follow in the third quarter.

The US airframer says its commercial backlog stands at 3,400 aircraft, valued at $263 billion.