Boeing Holds on as Top 2017 DJIA Stock

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Boeing Co.’s (NYSE: BA) share price added nearly 5.4% last week to keep the aerospace giant’s grip on its position as the best performing stock among the 30 that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares gained $14.52 last week to boost the year-to-date gain to nearly 84%.

Of the three other stocks closest to Boeing’s yearly gain, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) rose by about 1.7% to a gain of over 55% for the year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) dropped about 1% to close the week up about 46% for the year to date, and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) tacked on 1.7% to bring its annual gain to over 44%.

In dollar terms, Boeing shares rose more last week they did in all of November, when the stock added about $13. The company is now the largest industrial corporation by market cap in the United States.

Boeing had a relatively quiet week with no big orders announced. In fact, the most significant piece of news arrived late Friday in a company statement acknowledging that it has given up on its bid to sell to Canada 18 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in a deal valued at $5.2 billion. The deal has been in jeopardy since Boeing won a trade dispute with Canada’s Bombardier.

The company did announce some good news. Boeing flew the first test flight of a KC-46A tanker that will be delivered next year to the U.S. Air Force. Boeing is on the hook to deliver 18 of the planes next year after failing to hit its original plan to deliver the planes in August of this year.

The company’s board of directors meets on December 11, and analysts at Wells Fargo Securities have predicted that Boeing will announce a dividend increase of 10% to 15% following the meeting.

Boeing raised its dividend last December to its current level of $1.42 ($5.68 annualized). That was a 30% jump over the prior year’s rate, and it could be that Wells Fargo is being conservative about an increase for the coming year. The dividend yield on Boeing stock at Friday’s closing price is 2.04%, and Boeing should easily be able to lift that by another 20% or 25%.

The shares closed at $285.90 on Friday, up about 1.4% on the day, in a 52-week trading range of $153.06 to $287.32. The high was posted Friday morning. The 12-month consensus price target is $285.42, up $0.21 from last week’s target. The low price target is $203 and the high is $350.