Boeing's results hit by production cuts and lower pricing outlook

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Boeing's first-quarter profit fell 47% as production cuts and an unfavourable pricing outlook negatively impacted earnings.

The manufacturer posted net income of $610 million down from $1.21 billion, a year earlier. Revenue rose 3% to $16.50 billion on higher commercial aircraft deliveries and higher volume in defence.

Lower expected earnings at its Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) unit forced Boeing to lower its earnings forecast for the year to $4.70 to $5.00 a share from $5.05 to $5.35 a share. Boeing maintained its BCA revenue projection of $68 billion to $69 billion with plans to deliver between 480 and 485 commercial aircraft this year.

Total backlog at the end of the first quarter was $339 billion, down 4% from a year earlier.

At BCA, operating earnings fell by 58% to $417 million, while margins contracted to 4.9%. Revenue rose 5% to $8.6 billion on higher deliveries totalling 121 aircraft, partially offset by lower volume in services.

Margins on all programmes were reduced by lower price escalation forecasts, the decision to reduce 777 production rates for deliveries in June 2010 and the decision to postpone planned increases in 747-8 and 767 production.

BCA booked 28 gross orders during the quarter, but removed 32 787 orders from its order book, as previously disclosed. Contractual backlog totalled $266 billion.

Boeing continues to expect the first flight of its 787 to take place this quarter with deliveries to begin in the first quarter of 2010.