Boosted by overwhelming demand for its new, more fuel-efficient jets that has led to a surge in commercial airplane deliveries, Boeing (BA) revealed on Wednesday better-than-expected second-quarter profit and sales.

The Chicago-based jet maker reported net income of $967 million, or $1.27 a share, compared with a year-earlier $941 million, or $1.25. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were looking for just $1.12 a share.

Revenue for the three-month period climbed 21% to $20 billion from $16.5 billion in the year-earlier period, more than offsetting higher pension costs. Analysts on average were looking for slightly lower sales of $19.37 billion.

The strong quarterly results led the No. 1 U.S. commercial plane manufacturer to lift its fiscal 2012 earnings and sales guidance. It now sees earnings in a range of $4.40 to $4.60 a share on sales between $79.5 billion and $81.5 billion.

The consensus is calling for full-year earnings of $4.56 on sales of $79.54.

“Increased revenues and strong operating performance across both our major businesses drove significantly improved first-half 2012 results for Boeing," the company’s chief executive, Jim McNerney, said in a statement.

Commercial airplane deliveries climbed 27% and Boeing said its defense, space and security business produced higher revenues and strong margins despite a “difficult market environment.”

Shares of Boeing climbed 2.8% to $74 shortly before the session opened on Wednesday.

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