Boeing posts earnings of $1.74 a share vs. $1.82 expected

Dennis Muilenburg, Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company
Sanjeev Verma | Hindustan Times | Getty Images
Dennis Muilenburg, Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company

Boeing on Wednesday reported earnings that missed analysts' expectations but posted better-than-expected revenues driven by higher deliveries of military aircraft.

The Dow component posted first-quarter earnings per share of $1.74, compared with $1.97 a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $22.63 billion against the year-earlier figure of $22.15 billion.

Analysts expected the airplane maker to report earnings per share of $1.82 on revenue of $21.44 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

The stock traded closed nearly 3 percent higher Wednesday.

Despite a boost from military deliveries, the company was weighed down by investments in a tanker program, which is in the midst of a transition, according to CEO Dennis Muilenburg. The company recorded a tanker charge of $156 million or 24 cents per share in the quarter, as it develops the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker for the Air Force.

BA in 2016

"Our teams are focused intensely on delivering on our existing commitments including the production ramp-up associated with our large and diverse backlog, accelerating progress on quality, safety and productivity improvements company wide, returning greater value to shareholders through profitable growth, and investing in the future as we enter our second century in business," Muilenburg said in a statement.

Commercial aircraft deliveries fell 4.3 percent to 176.

Boeing shares took a tumble in the first quarter of the year, falling 12.21 percent — they have fallen nearly 7 percent year to date.

The company said March 30 it will eliminate about 4,000 jobs in its commercial airplanes division by the middle of this year as it looks to control costs.

Boeing will reduce 1,600 positions through voluntary layoffs, while the rest are expected to be done by leaving open positions unfilled. The job cuts will include hundreds of executives and managers, but will not be done through involuntary layoffs.

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— CNBC's Fred Imbert and Reuters contributed to this report.