As the fortunes of rival Airbus are shaken by the end of the most ambitious airplane program in its history, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has made an unprecedented run at the record books of its own. Boeing shares are up 36% in two months, pacing well ahead of the other components of the Dow Jones industrial average, which is up just 11.6%.
Airbus believed it could build and successfully market a new generation of what the Boeing 747 was — a jumbo jet at the center of the long-haul commercial air fleet for five decades. Cancellation of the A380 by Airbus killed the future of a plane that held as many as 500 seats. Airlines found that smaller more fuel-efficient planes made them more money. Boeing has its competition at the jumbo end of the market.
Boeing had to do more than fight its way through the competition to post a strong rally. Investors have worried that a trade war with China would cut Boeing sales there. China is well along the path to becoming the world’s largest commercial airplane market. The Chinese have not attacked the American airplane industry as a pawn in the trade game, so Boeing may be safe.
Boeing continues to top Airbus in deliveries. According to earlier 24/7 Wall St. reporting, “Boeing delivered 906 commercial aircraft in 2018. Airbus delivered 763. Just as important, Boeing’s net orders were 894 commercial aircraft to Airbus’s 747.” The future may be even better. 24/7 Wall St. reported, “The company’s widely followed 20-year forecast of global commercial airplanes shows that 42,730 new jets will be needed over the period. The value of these will be $6.3 trillion.”
Boeing’s strength in the defense industry puts another leg on its business stool to balance commercial aviation. 24/7 Wall St. recently wrote: “Boeing’s other large business, which builds jets, helicopters and missiles, has thrived due to the increase in defense spending both in the United States and overseas. Boeing’s Defence, Space and Security revenue rose 13% to $5.7 billion in the third quarter of 2018 over the same period a year ago.”
Finally, there is the strength of Boeing’s numbers. According to 24/7 Wall St., Boeing’s entire revenue for the period was $25.1 billion, up 4%. Boeing also bumped guidance higher: “The company’s revenue guidance increased $1.0 billion to between $98.0 and $100.0 billion, driven by defense volume and services growth, inclusive of the KLX acquisition.”