With the launch of 737 MAX 10, first deliveries of 737 MAX planes and completion of  the 787-10 first flight, 2017 marked a good year for Boeing, both operationally and financially. The company has reported financial results of what it calls a "record" year, revealing 76% increase of earnings from operations and 27% increase in cash flow, but a 1% fall in revenues.

"Across Boeing our teams delivered a record year of financial and operational performance as they focused on disciplined execution of production and development programs, growing services, and delivering value to customers," said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg. "That performance enables increased investments in our people and our business, and greater cash return to shareholders."

"In 2017 we delivered the first 737 MAX airplanes, launched the 737 MAX 10 and completed the 787-10 first flight, all while delivering more commercial airplanes than ever before. We flew the first KC-46 Tanker to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force, were awarded an initial contract for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, and a contract to provide 36 F-15 fighters to Qatar. We launched Boeing Global Services during the year, to deliver greater lifecycle value, and achieved growth that outpaced the market."

"We actively positioned for future markets and growth by developing new products and services, investing to build vertical capabilities, launching the HorizonX innovation organization and bringing in new capabilities, including the acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences. Looking forward, our team remains focused on winning through innovation, driving growth and productivity and extending our position as the world's leading aerospace company – delivering the best value to our customers, our employees and our shareholders."

In 2017 revenue was $93.4 billion - 1% down from $94.6 billion in 2016 -  reflecting deliveries mix with GAAP earnings per share of $13.43 and core earnings per share (non-GAAP)* of $12.04 reflecting strong execution and favorable tax reform.  The company repurchased 46.1 million shares for $9.2 billion and paid $3.4 billion in dividends. In December 2017, the company's board of directors increased the quarterly dividend per share by 20 percent and replaced the existing share repurchase program with a new $18 billion authorization. Share repurchases under the new authorization are expected to be made over the next 24 to 30 months.

Table 1. Summary Financial Results

 

Fourth Quarter

   

Full Year

  

(Dollars in Millions, except per share data)

 

2017

 

2016

 

Change

 

2017

 

2016

 

Change

             

Revenues

 

 

$25,368

 

 

$23,286

 

9%

 

 

$93,392

 

 

$94,571

 

(1)%

 
             

GAAP

            

Earnings From Operations

 

 

$3,030

 

 

$2,183

 

39%

 

 

$10,278

 

 

$5,834

 

76%

 

Operating Margin

 

11.9%

 

9.4%

 

2.5 Pts

 

11.0%

 

6.2%

 

4.8 Pts

 

Net Earnings

 

 

$3,132

 

 

$1,631

 

92%

 

 

$8,197

 

 

$4,895

 

67%

 

Earnings Per Share

 

 

$5.18

 

 

$2.59

 

100%

 

 

$13.43

 

 

$7.61

 

76%

 

Operating Cash Flow

 

 

$2,904

 

 

$2,832

 

3%

 

 

$13,344

 

 

$10,499

 

27%

 

Non-GAAP*

            

Core Operating Earnings

 

 

$2,676

 

 

$2,064

 

30%

 

 

$8,970

 

 

$5,464

 

64%

 

Core Operating Margin

 

10.5%

 

8.9%

 

1.6 Pts

 

9.6%

 

5.8%

 

3.8 Pts

 

Core Earnings Per Share

 

 

$4.80

 

 

$2.47

 

94%

 

 

$12.04

 

 

$7.24

 

66%

 
 

Fourth quarter results

Operating cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $2.9 billion. During the quarter, the company repurchased 6.7 million shares for $1.7 billion and paid $0.8 billion in dividends. Cash and investments in marketable securities totaled $10.0 billion, unchanged from the beginning of the quarter. Debt was $11.1 billion compared to $10.8 billion at the beginning of the quarter.

Total company backlog at quarter-end was $488 billion, up from $474 billion at the beginning of the quarter, and included net orders for the quarter of $40 billion.

Commercial Airplanes

Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $15.5 billion on higher planned delivery volume and mix. Fourth-quarter operating margin increased to 11.5 percent. The company booked 414 net orders during the quarter, reporting the current backlog of more than 5,800 airplanes valued at $421 billion.

During the quarter, Commercial Airplanes delivered 209 planes and the 787 program rolled out the first 787-10 airplane expected to deliver to launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) . The 737 program delivered 44 MAX airplanes during the quarter and has captured over 4,300 orders since launch for the 737 MAX, including a recent order from flydubai for 175 airplanes. The company also began the production of the first 777X flight test airplane.

Defense, Space & Security

Defense, Space & Security fourth-quarter revenue increased to $5.5 billion primarily on higher weapons deliveries, and fourth-quarter operating margin was 10.0 percent. Backlog at Defense, Space & Security was $50 billion, of which 40 percent are orders from international customers.

During the quarter, Defense, Space & Security signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide 36 advanced F-15 fighter aircraft to Qatar. The KC-46 Tanker program received a contract to provide the first international KC-46 Tanker to Japan and received FAA certification for the 767-2C aircraft, verifying that the fundamental design of the KC-46 Tanker is safe and reliable.