SEATTLE — Boeing Co. boosted its full-year earnings forecast and posted a third-quarter profit Wednesday as it delivered more jetliners, recovering from delays caused by a supplier's defective seats.
Net income was $837 million compared with a net loss a year earlier of $1.56 billion, Boeing said.
Boeing shipped more 737s, as well as 777s after receiving replacements for the faulty seats, bolstering revenue from airlines. Higher production of those planes is countering delays on the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jumbo jet, two programs that forced $3.5 billion in charges a year ago and led Boeing to its biggest loss since at least 1983.
"Orders are doing very well, there's good demand out there, and Boeing is executing on the commercial side," said Troy Lahr, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore. "They still need to get through the development programs, the 787 and 747-8, but all in all it looks like they're heading in the right direction."
Full-year earnings will more than double to as much as $4 a share, 20 cents higher than the previous maximum forecast, Boeing said. The company said it will deliver 460 planes this year, the lower end of its forecast range, and decreased its top sales projection by $500 million to $65.5 billion.
Sales increased 1.7 percent to $17 billion in the quarter, topping analysts' $16.8 billion prediction.
Operating cash flow was $1.9 billion, "reflecting strong operating performance and timing of certain receipts and expenditures," Boeing said. It will be more than $1.5 billion for the year, rather than zero as previously predicted, the company said. Cash flow will exceed $4 billion in 2011, coming in under the prior forecast of more than $5 billion, the planemaker said.
"Operationally, they did very well at the commercial-aircraft business, and some of that is offsetting the weakness at the defense business, which has been concerning investors," Lahr said.