Boeing’s flying high as second quarter profit soars by Laura Lorenzetti @FortuneMagazine July 23, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Boeing BA is flying high. The Chicago, Ill.-based plane manufacturer on Wednesday reported second quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ expectations and raised its outlook for the full year. Boeing posted profits of $2.42 a share, 22% above the average analyst estimate of $1.98, according to Bloomberg data. The strong performance is credited to improving operations and tax benefits of $408 million in the second quarter, the company announced Wednesday. “Strong operating performance across our production programs and services businesses drove revenue and earnings-per-share growth, and healthy operating cash flow,” Jim McNerney, Boeing’s CEO, said in a statement. Boeing delivered 181 commercial jets in the second quarter, including its first 787-9 and its 8,000th 737 to commercial buyers. The jet maker also sent its 100th EA-18G Growler to the U.S. Navy. Boeing’s backlog of orders remains strong at $440 billion with over 5,200 commercial jet orders, including 783 new orders so far this year. The “large and diverse” commitments led Boeing to raise its earnings outlook for the year to between $7.90 and $8.10 a share up from previous projections of $7.15 to $7.35. The increased annual earnings include a $272 million after-tax charge for additional costs related to its development of the KC-46A Tanker program, which McNerney said will begin flight testing in the first part of next year despite engineering and installation set-backs.