Boeing Co reported a greater-than-expected increase in second-quarter profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast on Wednesday as rising airplane deliveries offset higher pension costs.
The planemaker and defense contractor is rapidly ramping up production to meet rising demand for new, fuel-efficient planes and is set to overtake rival Airbus in plane deliveries this year.
Its shares rose 2.7 percent in premarket trading, edging into positive territory for the year.
Chicago-based Boeing said profit increased to $967 million, or $1.27 per share, from $941 million, or $1.25 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Wall Street expected earnings of $1.12 a share, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales jumped 21 percent to $20 billion, boosted by commercial aircraft sales, topping analysts' average estimate of $19.4 billion.
For the full year, Boeing forecast earnings of $4.40 to $4.60 per share, up from a range of $4.15 to $4.35 per share, based on better expectation for both commercial and defense sales. That is in line with the $4.56 per share analysts' expect.
The company stood by its forecast to deliver a record 585 to 600 commercial planes this year, a key number for profit as most of the payments from a customer come on delivery.
Airbus, which has led the market in deliveries for the past few years, is targeting 570 commercial deliveries for 2012. Its parent EADS is due to report its own earnings on Friday.
Boeing shares rose 2.7 percent to $74 in premarket trading, after closing at $72.03 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
At Tuesday's close, the shares were down almost 2 percent so far this year, compared to a 2 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's aerospace index and 6 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.