Analysts Getting More Positive on Boeing for 2017 and 2018

Print Email

Following the company’s earnings announcement on Wednesday, shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) dipped 1.9%, before recovering by the end of the day to regain about half of the dip. The aircraft maker’s deliveries dropped by 4% year over year for the quarter, and revenues were down by about $370 million. Profits beat estimates by six cents per share.

Margins improved, however, and new orders rose to 198, yielding a book-to-bill ratio of about 1.05 to 1.00. These positive signs were encouraging enough to induce some analysts to raise their price target on the stock.

Boeing also reiterated its cash flow estimate of around $10.75 billion for the full year and maintained its estimate of commercial jet deliveries of 760 to 765.

We want to look at both sides of the story, balancing the positive views with one negative view. First, the good news for Boeing and its investors.

Cowen raised its price target from $195 to $215, and RBC lifted its price target from $138 to $146 per share. JPMorgan raised its price target from $185 to $205 and rates the stock Neutral.

Merrill Lynch sees Boeing differently. The analysts maintained their Underperform rating and kept their $150 price objective on the stock. The firm said it continues to believe that the aerospace industry may be in the early stages of a down cycle. Here’s what it said in its investment rationale:

BA is changing the face of commercial aerospace with the 787. We firmly believe that the use of composites as the primary structure on the 787 marks a fundamental shift in the industry. We expect the stock to be pressured in the medium term as Boeing grapples with industry concerns regarding overproduction as well as development and production risks on programs like the 787, 777X, and 737 MAX.

Boeing also has plans to grow its support and services business to around $50 billion in 10 years. The company does not break out how much of its revenue in the commercial jet division comes from service and support, but one analyst estimates that the company’s current revenue stream, including military service and support, is around $17 million. Essentially tripling that total in 10 years is an ambitious goal, and it may be critical to Boeing’s future growth if demand for commercial jets should hit the doldrums.

Boeing’s stock traded up about 0.9% in the noon hour Wednesday, at $183.46 in a 52-week range of $122.35 to $185.71. The 12-month consensus price target is $181.90 and may not include these latest changes.