Boeing Co's quarterly profit slipped on fewer commercial airplane deliveries and its shares fell 3.3 percent in premarket trade on a disappointing earnings outlook for 2011.

The fourth-quarter results were in line with expectations, but the world's largest aerospace and defense company said its 2011 earnings would be between $3.80 and $4.00 per share, which is below the average Wall Street forecast of $4.55 per share.

The guidance doesn't look good, said Alex Hamilton, managing director of EarlyBirdCapital. I think the stock sells off today.

Boeing said the 2011 results would be hurt by higher pension expense, defense budget cuts and the revised 787 Dreamliner schedule.

The company recently delayed first delivery of the Dreamliner to the third quarter from the first.


Boeing's fourth-quarter net profit was $1.16 billion, or $1.56 per share, compared with $1.27 billion, or $1.75 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Boeing said it earned $1.11, which is in line with Wall Street expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Items included a favorable non-cash tax settlement of 50 cents a share and a one-time charitable contribution.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $16.55 billion. Wall Street had expected revenue of $17.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue at Boeing's commercial airplanes division fell 11 percent to $8.2 billion on lower-than-expected 777 and 747 airplane deliveries.

Revenue for Boeing's Defense, Space & Security unit slipped 5 percent to $3.63 billion.

Boeing, which competes with EADS subsidiary Airbus, said this month it delivered 116 commercial aircraft in the fourth quarter, down from 122 a year ago. Aircraft manufacturers only get paid on delivery, usually at least 18 months after purchase.

Airbus sold 644 planes in 2010 -- 19 more than Boeing. For the eighth year running, Airbus also delivered more planes than its U.S. rival.

Boeing's order backlog rose to $321 billion including $69 billion of new orders during the year.

Boeing said this month that the first delivery of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner would come in the third quarter of 2011, a postponement from the first quarter.

The newest delay for the lightweight, carbon-composite plane -- already nearly three years behind its original schedule, followed a November electrical fire on a test flight that resulted in an emergency landing.

The first Dreamliner delivery to its first customer Japan's All Nippon Airways has been delayed repeatedly due to snags in the supply chain and labor disputes.

Boeing has not said how much it has invested in the Dreamliner or how much over budget the project is.

The company offers two versions of its Dreamliner, which lists between $185.2 million and $218.1 million. Boeing receives payment for airplanes at delivery.

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Maureen Bavdek)