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Boeing raised its forecast for 2017 profits while announcing higher than expected first quarter earnings per share despite a slower pace of aircraft deliveries that depressed revenues in the quarter ended March 31.

The aircraft and defence company announced on Wednesday that first quarter core earnings per share, which exclude some pension and other costs, rose to $2.01, well above the market consensus of $1.91 and up from $1.74 in the year earlier period.

The company raised guidance for full year core earnings per share to $9.20- $9.40 from $9.10- $9.30, primarily due to a lower than expected tax rate. The company’s backlog of planes ordered but not yet delivered also rose at the end of the quarter to $480bn, up from $473bn at the beginning of the quarter, with net orders for the first quarter of $27bn.

It also reaffirmed guidance full year deliveries of commercial aircraft at 760 to 765 planes for 2017.

First quarter revenues slipped to $21bn on lower 737 and military aircraft deliveries, from $22.6bn in the year earlier quarter. Boeing said it had not delivered any C-17 military transport aircraft in the first quarter, compared with three delivered in the year earlier quarter and had delivered seven fewer 737 aircraft as it ramps up to start delivering the new 737 MAX aircraft this quarter.

Total commercial airplane deliveries in the quarter were 169.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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