US aerospace giant Boeing Wednesday reported higher quarterly profits, capping a record year of commercial aircraft orders and deliveries.
Earnings for the fourth quarter grew 18.9 percent to $1.5 billion.
The strong earnings came on the heels of a Boeing announcement in December that it delivered a record 723 jets, surpassing a previous record of 648, on rising demand from newer airlines in emerging markets and more seasoned companies replacing their fleets.
In December, Boeing raised its dividend and announced a new $12 billion share repurchase program.
“Strong operating performance in the final quarter of 2014 propelled us to some of our best-ever results and sealed a fifth consecutive year of core operating earnings growth,” said Boeing chief executive Jim McNerney.
Revenues for the quarter rose 28.8 percent to $24.5 billion. Operating earnings translated into $2.31 per share, better than the $2.11 projected by analysts.
Net income for all of 2014 was $5.4 billion, up 18.8 percent from last year.
Boeing said 2015 revenues would be $94.5 to $96.5 billion, more than the Wall Street estimate of $93.25 billion. Operating earnings are projected at $8.20 to $8.40 per share, under the $8.64 forecast by analysts.
Boeing shares rose 3.3 percent to $136.85 in pre-market trade.