Boeing Co.’s annual sales topped $100 billion for the first time in its 102-year history, and the U.S. planemaker said new gains are on tap for 2019 as it bounces back from production snarls with its 737 jetliners. The shares surged.

  • Adjusted earnings will be $19.90 to $20.10 a share this year as sales climbed across all businesses, Boeing said in a statement Wednesday as it reported quarterly results. Analysts had expected $18.44. Operating cash flow will be as much as $17.5 billion.

Key Insights

  • Sales rose across all businesses at the end of the year, pushing annual revenue to $101.1 billion. The defense division’s 16 percent sales gain in the fourth quarter softened the blow from factory stumbles that slowed deliveries of the workhorse 737 jetliner, Boeing’s biggest source of profit.
  • Costly out-of-sequence work on commercial aircraft weighed on results, dragging free cash flow down to $2.45 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts had predicted $2.52 billion.
  • Increased jetliner production is crucial to Boeing’s plans to boost cash flow. Expect analysts to focus on the strength of the company’s supply chain. Investors listening to this morning’s 10:30 a.m. conference call also will look for clues about a proposed midmarket aircraft.

Market Reaction

  • The shares rose 6.5 percent to $388.50 before the start of regular trading in New York. Boeing advanced 13 percent this year through Tuesday, outpacing the 5.4 percent gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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  • Adjusted fourth-quarter profit climbed to $5.48 a share, compared with the $4.59 average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 14 percent to $28.3 billion, beating expectations.
  • Additional details
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