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Boeing (NYSE:BA) will announce fourth quarter and full year 2012 earnings Wednesday, January 30. We expect that the aircraft manufacturer will post strong growth in the top line for both periods on higher commercial aircraft deliveries. However, earnings for both periods will be impacted by contributions toward pension liabilities.

For the full year 2012, Boeing forecasts revenues in the range of $80.5-$82 billion, up from $68.7 billion in 2011, and earnings in the range of $4.80-$4.95 per share, down from $5.34 per share in 2011. [1]

We currently have a stock price estimate of $75.16 for the company, marginally above its current market price.

See our complete analysis of Boeing here

Commercial Aircraft Deliveries

In the first three quarters of 2012, Boeing’s revenues and earnings increased 21% and 10% respectively, on a year-over-year basis, driven by increased commercial aircraft deliveries. [2] In the fourth quarter, the company continued to deliver a greater number of commercial aircraft due to increased production rates of certain aircraft types like Boeing 787 and Boeing 737 Next Generation (NYSEMKT:NG).

In the fourth quarter, Boeing delivered 105 Boeing 737NG aircraft, up from 91 in the year ago period and 23 Boeing 787Dreamliner, up from two in the previous year. In all, the company delivered 165 commercial aircraft in the fourth quarter, up from 128 in the same period a year ago. [3] [4]

For full year 2012, the company delivered 601 commercial aircraft compared to 477 for 2011. [3] [4]

Military Aircraft And Satellite Deliveries

Additionally, Boeing’s military aircraft and satellite deliveries in the fourth quarter were also on par with the previous year levels. The company delivered one satellite and zero F-15s in the fourth quarter, compared to previous year’s two satellites and five F-15s. But, these reduced deliveries will likely be offset by six additional deliveries of Apache, two additional deliveries of P-8 and one additional delivery each of Chinook and F-18, in the fourth quarter. [3] [4]

Pension Contributions

However, the revenue growth provided by increased commercial aircraft deliveries will be impacted by pension contributions. The company has had to make significant contributions to its pension liabilities, as historically low interest rates have impacted returns on its pension plan assets. In the nine months ended September 30, 2012, Boeing made $1.5 billion in pension contributions compared to $500 million a year back. [2] Further contributions in the fourth quarter will impact earnings.

Notes:

  1. Boeing Reports Third-Quarter Results and Raises 2012 Guidance, October 24 2012, www.boeing.com
  2. 2012 Q3 10-Q, October 24 2012, www.boeing.com
  3. 2012 Q4 aircraft deliveries, January 3 2013, www.boeing.com
  4. 2011 Q4 aircraft deliveries, January 5 2012, www.boeing.com

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Higher Commercial Aircraft Deliveries Will Lift Boeing's Results