Aerospace giant Boeing Co. on Thursday said profit rose in the fourth quarter, boosted by a large tax refund and beating Wall Street forecasts.
The Chicago-based company posted profit of $1.11 billion, or $1.37 per share, up from $590 million, or 73 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Excluding the tax refund, earnings were 50 cents a share, topping the average forecast of 46 cents among 18 analysts polled by Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.
Revenue declined 4 percent to $13.2 billion in the fourth quarter and fell 7 percent to $50.5 billion for the full year 2003, the first year in which Boeing's jetliner deliveries fell behind those of European rival Airbus SAS.
Boeing said it expects revenue to rise to about $52 billion in 2004 and to between $55 billion and $57 billion in 2005. Wall Street has forecast 2004 sales of $51.82 billion and 2005 sales of $54.96 billion.