Boeing outpaced expectations for the third quarter with a 25 percent increase in third-quarter profit to $1.70 billion, fueled in part by a 30 percent rise in operating income at its network and space-systems business unit.
Quarterly revenue rose 9 percent to $25.85 billion. Analysts had projected $24.74 billion for the period.
Network & Space Systems –- part of a Boeing division encompassing defense, space and security operations — contributed $2.13 billion in revenue, 5 percent more than a year earlier. Boeing modestly raised its year-end market guidance for the segment and noted NASA extended its engineering-services contract for the International Space Station during the latest quarter.
“By continuing to profitably deliver on our large and diverse backlog, we are driving strong growth in revenue, earnings and cash flow,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. “Solid operating performance across our commercial and defense businesses during the quarter also supported our continued investment in innovation and our people, and our commitment to return cash to shareholders.”
Boeing shares (NYSE: BA) rallied after financial results were released prior to trading on Oct. 21, closing up $2.31 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $141.19. The stock has struggled in recent months, while trading roughly midway in a 52-week range of $115.14-$158.83.
Boeing’s strong quarterly results contrasted sharply with those posted a day earlier by its partner in the United Launch Alliance joint venture. Lockheed Martin’s earnings also outpaced expectations, but its space division proved to be a laggard among five business units as Lockheed saw its overall profit dip 2 percent to $865 million.
Boeing revealed last month it had mixed a $2 billion takeover bid by Aerojet Rocketdyne amid reports Lockheed was less opposed to a ULA sale than Boeing and speculation of an eventual sweetened bid for the launch-services venture.