October 24, 2018 / 12:02 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-Boeing raises guidance as plane sales swell

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Boeing topped analysts' forecasts for quarterly profit on Wednesday and raised its forecasts for annual profit as it continued to benefit from a boom in global air travel and demand for airplanes.

Shares of the world's biggest planemaker were up 3.1 percent at $361 in premarket trading, helping brighten the mood on Wall Street after a handful of shaky results outlooks on Tuesday from U.S. manufacturers hurt by concerns over global trade.

Soaring demand from commercial airlines has driven another surge in revenues for Boeing over the past year, pushing shares in the company up by roughly a third over the past 12 months.

Those moves have been dented somewhat by a combination of the trade worries, this year's greater market volatility and a series of recurring charges for its KC-46 tanker program.

Boeing recorded another $176 million in charges in the quarter on the aerial refueling tanker, bringing the total cost of the program to more than $3 billion.

It also took a charge of $691 million related to the MQ25 refueling drone and T-X training jet contracts it won in August and September, offset in part by a $412 million tax benefit.

The Chicago-based firm's core earnings, which exclude some pension and other costs, came in 11 cents above analysts' average forecast at $3.58 per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Boeing has delivered 568 aircraft in the first nine months of 2018, up from 554 at the end of September a year ago, putting it on track to deliver another record year of plane sales.

That keeps the Chicago-based manufacturer, which aims to deliver between 810-815 planes in 2018, in front of its European rival Airbus SE, which delivered 503 aircraft through September this year.

Boeing raised its full year profit forecast to $14.90-$15.10 from a previous $14.30-$14.50 per share, and revenue to a range of $98 billion to $100 billion, up from $97 billion to $99 billion. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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