Boeing reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday that topped analyst estimates, and it raised its profit forecast for the second time this year.
The gains reflected a surge in aircraft deliveries, led by the company’s most profitable models, the 777 and the 737. Boeing said it was also starting to build its new 787 Dreamliner jets without having to make changes after the assembly line, avoiding the costly problems that had slowed the product for years.
Analysts said Boeing appeared to be on track this year to pass Airbus as the world’s top producer of commercial airplanes. Boeing said Wednesday that it expected to deliver 585 to 600 planes this year. Airbus, which passed Boeing in deliveries in 2003 and has led ever since, has projected its total at 570 this year.
Boeing said it also benefited from stronger-than-expected results from its military business. Military revenue rose 7 percent despite tighter defense budgets in the United States and other countries.
All told, the company, based in Chicago, reported that net income rose 3 percent to $967 million, or $1.27 a share, in the quarter from $941 million, or $1.25 a share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had, on average, expected a profit of $1.13 a share in the latest period.
Boeing’s revenue rose 21 percent to $20 billion in the quarter from $16.5 billion a year earlier.
The company also raised its per-share earnings forecast for all of 2012 to between $4.40 and $4.60, up from an earlier increase in its guidance to $4.15 to $4.35 a share.
It now expects revenue for 2012 of $79.5 billion to $81.5 billion. Its earlier projection was $78 billion to $80 billion.
Boeing stock closed at $74.03, up $2.