Investors to Focus on Boeing Outlook -- Earnings Preview

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Boeing Co. shares have been on a tear this year as the world's largest aerospace company by revenue delivered a record number of planes, expanded its huge order book and shoveled cash back to shareholders. Here's what to expect when Boeing reports fourth-quarter earnings and 2018 outlook before the market opens on Wednesday.

BY THE NUMBERS: Net profits are forecast to rise to $1.72 billion from the $1.56 billion reported a year ago, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Per-share earnings are expected to climb to $2.89 from $2.47 a year ago, or $2.53 if the tax gain is excluded. Sales are expected to rise to $24.7 billion from $23.3 billion a year earlier.

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OUTLOOK: Boeing's usual conservative January guidance could still blow past analyst expectations if it manages to forecast a going-forward tax rate below 18% and offer free cash flow as high as $15 billion this year. Throw in a continuation of the operating margin strength displayed by its jetliner unit in the prior quarter and the stock could trade sizably higher on the day.


YOU MUST BE JOKING: Sell-side analysts are likely to quiz executives, without success, on any movement in deal talks with Embraer SA and a final decision on whether to proceed with developing a new midsize jetliner, dubbed by some as the 797. Definitive statements on either are as likely as Boeing showing its hand on whether it will appeal last week's loss of a trade case against Bombardier Inc.

JOBS, LOVELY JOBS: Boeing is opening a finishing center to paint and outfit jets near Shanghai, in tandem with a Chinese partner. Capacity and employment numbers for the facility have yet to be disclosed, and even though Boeing has indicated the sharp cuts in domestic U.S. employees seen in recent years could be coming to an end, the expansion of work overseas will be closely watched.

Write to Doug Cameron at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 30, 2018 05:44 ET (10:44 GMT)