Boeing Delivers 169 Commercial Jets in Q1, Turns Now to Air Force Contract

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Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) delivered 169 commercial jets in the first quarter of 2017, setting the company up to exceed its projected total for this year. Boeing delivered 748 commercial jets in 2016 and in January forecast deliveries of 760 to 765 for 2017, roughly equal to the 762 planes it delivered in 2015.

This is, as the saying goes, old news because the company had already reported March deliveries and anyone with a calculator (or a pencil and paper) could have done the basic arithmetic. Still, it is a good showing for Boeing and is contributing to a modest move higher for the stock price.

In another, more interesting, story, Moody’s Investors Service released a report today on the Boeing’s prospects to win the $16.3 billion contract to design and build a new training jet for the U.S. Air Force. The contract for the new trainer, dubbed the T-X, is expected to be awarded before the end of this year.

According to a report at Washington Business Journal, Moody’s said:

We believe Boeing’s need to bolster its position as a prime contractor on a significant [Department of Defense] program following missing out on the next generation fighter and, most recently, on the next generation bomber, could have caused it to aggressively bid for the T-X contract.

The consensus opinion is that the contract is going to go to the low bidder, period. Other certain competitors are teams led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) and DRS Technologies, the U.S.-based division of Italy’s Leonardo. Boeing is teamed with Saab and is the only team offering a clean-sheet design for the T-X.

With demand for passenger planes softening, building up the company’s military business is a top priority. Boeing recently received an order to fit 17 P-8A maritime patrol planes that are based on the 737 airframe. Including options for 32 additional planes, the contract could potentially reach $6.8 billion for Boeing.

Here’s the rundown on Boeing’s first-quarter deliveries of commercial jets:

  • 737 family: 113
  • 747 family: 1 (an operating lease)
  • 767 family: 2
  • 777 family: 21
  • 787 family: 32

Boeing also delivered 3 F-15 and 6 F/A-18 fighter jets in the quarter, along with three new Apache helicopters and 13 remanufactured Apaches, as well as with a total of 12 new and remanufactured Chinook helicopters and 3 P-8 patrol planes.

Boeing’s shares traded up about 0.6% in the noon hour Thursday, at $178.16 in a 52-week range of $119.39 to $185.71. The consensus price target is $176.50.