The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) announced Monday morning that it had delivered 648 commercial aircraft in 2013, a company record. Its backlog of orders as of the end of December totals 5,080, another Boeing record.
Boeing’s main competitor, the Airbus division of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS), reported that its backlog at the end of November was more than 5,400 aircraft which the company said is an industry record. Airbus’s net new orders through November totaled 1,314 compared with 1,355 net orders for Boeing in 2013.
The Boeing 737 family remains the company’s bread-and-butter program. Nearly two-thirds of last year’s deliveries were 737s, more than 4 times the number of orders for its next most popular plan, the 777. The company delivered 65 787 Dreamliners and says it now has 916 unfilled orders for its newest plane.
The head of Boeing’s commercial aircraft group said:
The year ahead will be exciting as we prepare to deliver the first 787-9, continue the design work on our newest programs – the 737 MAX, 787-10 and 777X – while increasing our production rates on the 737. We’ll remain focused on meeting our customer commitments by delivering the best products and services.
Now that the company has prevailed upon its local machinist’s union to accept a change to the pension program in exchange for thousands of jobs in the Seattle area, Boeing has a clear road ahead to boost its revenues and profits in the new year. The company also announced a 50% dividend increase and a new $10 billion share buyback program in December which pushed the shares to a 52-week high. The wind is at Boeing’s back and even the problems that have surfaced with its Dreamliner don’t appear to have set the stock back.
Boeing shares are trading up about 0.3% in the early afternoon on Monday, at $138.02 in a 52-week range of $72.68 to $142.00.