Boeing CE sees improving business environment


Boeing, the world’s second-largest plane maker, is gaining momentum as the economy improves and is looking forward to several years of steady or increasing commercial production, Chief Executive Jim McNerney told the company’s annual meeting on Monday.

“We see an improving business environment,” McNerney said. “Clearly this company is gaining solid momentum.” Boeing reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit last week despite making fewer deliveries as the company held down costs at its commercial airplane division.

Boeing and top rival Airbus were dogged in 2009 by fewer orders for airplanes as carriers around the world grappled with falling travel demand in the sagging economy. But a recovering economy and brighter outlook for airlines point to a stronger 2010.

McNerney also said Boeing’s long-delayed carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner airplane was on track for first delivery by year’s end. The plane made its first test flight in December. Also on Monday, Boeing said its board declared a regular quarterly dividend of 42 cents per share payable June 4 to shareholders of record as of May 7. Boeing shares, which have rallied about 38 percent this year on expectations of a commercial rebound, were off 1 percent at $74.36 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.