Boeing Remains Best Dow Stock on Boost From Dubai Orders

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Boeing Co.’s (NYSE: BA) share price added about 0.5% last week, making up for an equal-sized loss the week before. The stock easily held on to its position as the best performing stock among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares gained $1.41 last week to boost the year-to-date gain to 68.5%.

Of the three other stocks closest to Boeing’s yearly gain, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) dropped more than 2.5% to close the week up 46.9% for the year to date, while Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) dipped by about 0.3% to a gain of 46.8% and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) tacked on 7.2% to bring its annual gain to 41%.

Boeing had a good week at the Dubai Air Show, beginning with new orders totaling some $17 billion on Monday and adding another order valued at $2.2 billion on Tuesday. At that point, archrival Airbus had taken exactly no new orders for commercial airplanes.

The fireworks came on Thursday when Airbus announced an order for 430 new airplanes from private equity firm Indigo Partners. The planes will be parceled out to four airlines: Frontier, Hungary’s Wizz, Chile’s JetSMART and Mexico’s Volaris. Airbus said it expects to convert the memorandum of understanding (a relatively weak agreement) to a signed contract by the end of the year.

The announcement surprised Boeing, which rushed out with another order of its own for 225 single-aisle 737s. The commitment was valued at $27 billion and brought Boeing’s total for the week to more than $46 billion. Needless to say, it was a good week for both Airbus and Boeing.

Boeing also released an updated market forecast for new airplanes in the Middle East. The total number of new planes is 3,350, at an estimated value of $730 billion over the next 20 years.

Twin-aisle airplanes are expected to make up nearly half (1,500) of the new airplanes in the Middle East, and more than 70% of the value at $520 billion. Both percentages are significantly higher than the global average. According to Boeing, operators in the region will need 1,770 single-aisle airplanes valued at $190 billion, driven by the growth of low-cost carriers.

Boeing stock closed at $262.26 on Friday, down about 0.6% on the day, in a 52-week range of $146.52 to $267.62. The 12-month consensus price target is $280.83, just seven cents lower than last week’s target. The low price target is $170 and the high is $350.