Boeing’s fourth quarter net income more than doubled to $460m from $186m a year ago, while revenue increased by seven per cent to $14.2bn from $13.3bn.The company's operating margin increased to 3.2 per cent from 0.2.
Within its commercial arm, Boeing’s contractual backlog, buoyed by orders for the newly launched 747-8 program and the 787 Dreamliner, rose 37 per cent for the quarter and 89 per cent for the year to $124bn. For the Dreamliner, 27 customers had booked a total of 379 orders, of which 291 represent firm orders.
Due to strong growth in Aircraft & Weapon Systems and Support Systems, Boeings Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) revenues increased seven per cent to $8.1bn, with operating margins increasing to 11.4 per cent from 8.9 per cent. Furthermore strong performances across a number of key programmes such as the C-17 and F/A-18 ensured that Aircraft & Weapon systems’s revenue increased 18 per cent to $3.1bn.
One anomaly was the performance of is Network Systems, where revised cost and fee estimates resulted in an earnings loss for operations of 40 per cent registering just $165m in revenue in the fourth quarter as opposed to $276m the previous year.
The company’s outlook remains confident, however, with increased R&D spending over the next two years of between $2.6bn and $2.8bn in 2006 and $2.7bn and $2.9bn in 2007. This positive trend continues within its commercial arm, where delivery forecasts for 2006 remain at approximately 395 airplanes - an increase of 35 per cent from 2005. Boeing expects to deliver between 440 and 445 aircraft in 2007.