Boeing, for first time since 2019, has a profitable quarter

A loss in the commercial-planes business was offset by profits in Boeing’s defense and space unit and its services division.

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The Boeing logo is pictured at its Renton Factory, where the Boeing 737 MAX airliners are built in Renton, Washington on April 20, 2020.

Boeing on Wednesday reported a surprise quarterly profit.

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Boeing reported its first quarterly profit since 2019 and revenue topped expectations, as the giant aircraft maker tries to dig out from the most difficult stretch in its history.

Boeing said Wednesday that it earned $567 million in the second quarter, compared with a $2.4 billion loss a year ago.

The company delivered 79 commercial planes in the quarter, compared with 20 a year earlier. Deliveries are an important source of cash because that’s when airlines usually pay the bulk of the price for a new plane.

Still, the marquee commercial-planes business lost money. That was offset, however, by profits in Boeing’s defense and space unit and its services division.

The Chicago company said the adjusted core profit, which excludes certain unusual items, was a surprise 40 cents per share. Wall Street had been projecting a per-share loss of 65 cents, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Researchj.

Revenue was $17 billion, which eclipsed analysts’ forecast of $16.6 billion, according to a survey by FactSet.

Boeing is struggling to recover from the grounding of the Max after two deadly crashes and the pandemic. The company is also trying to fix production problems on the 787 jet, which is a two-aisle plane popular for longer flights. The company has cut the production rate for new 787s to deal with flaws in the fuselage.

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