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Despite weak forecast, Boeing to top target on cash to shareholders

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA) expects to return cash to shareholders in excess of its target this year, despite its forecast for 2014 cash generation that was below analysts' expectations.

Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said Boeing expects to exceed the target range of returning 80 percent to 85 percent of cash to shareholders in 2014.

Boeing forecast operating cash flow of $6.25 billion in 2014. Some analysts had estimated as much as $9 billion.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said the recent U.S. budget agreement had delayed the full impact of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration by about 18 to 24 months, though concern over cuts "still lurks out there."

Even so, "we remain very concerned about longer-term U.S. budget uncertainty," and a potential "devastating impact" to the U.S. industrial base, McNerney said on a conference call.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)