Boeing’s first-quarter earnings up 20 percent, topping estimates

New York TimesApril 24, 2013 

Boeing reported a first-quarter profit Wednesday that topped analysts’ estimates, and it said the recent problems with the lithium-ion batteries on its 787 Dreamliner jets would not keep it from hitting its profit and revenue targets for the year.

Boeing’s shares rose 3 percent Wednesday, continuing a rally that began last month as the company devised a fix to the battery issues that had grounded the 787s since January.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday approved modifications to minimize the odds that the batteries would emit smoke or catch fire. Some airlines are expected to begin flying the innovative jets again in May.

On a call with analysts, W. James McNerney Jr., Boeing’s CEO, said the company expected to finish modifying the battery systems by mid-May on most of the 50 787s now in airline fleets. In its earnings report on Wednesday, Boeing said its first-quarter earnings jumped 20 percent to $1.1 billion, or $1.44 a share, from $923 million, or $1.22 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 3 percent to $18.89 billion from $19.38 billion. That was partly because Boeing delivered only one 787 as a result of the battery problems, compared with five in the year-earlier quarter.

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