As reports continue to show strong labor markets and a return to GDP growth, many investors and economic watchers have to be wondering what the future growth story looks like from here. The Federal Reserve is expected to begin rate hikes in 2015 and bond yields have yet to skyrocket. Reports even have surfaced that some businesses are willing to increase capital spending and make investments again.
24/7 Wall St. reviews the so-called backlog of service and product orders from companies to see what the future looks like. Quite simply, these are future revenues on the books via orders, but they generally have yet to be paid for entirely or they have yet to be fulfilled. It turns out that some companies actually have a backlog that is close to a year or more worth of revenues.
Now that earnings season is over and 2015 is coming closer, we wanted to see just what is happening with future revenues. We screened the large technology services, infrastructure other services and defense companies to come up with a broad list. Many other companies may have an impressive backlog as well, and some may even be higher than the companies we have presented. Most of these companies have formally referred to their backlog amounts with specific dollars in their earnings reports this summer or in subsequent SEC filings and documents. We then created a small table to show the total backlog and compared this to the last year’s total revenue (2013 in most cases).
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) likely has an even larger backlog now from the recent airshow and follow-on plane orders, but with earnings in July it gave a commercial jet backlog of 5,200 commercial jets worth some $377 billion — yet the company’s total backlog in all segments was listed as $440 billion in July. This is up from $410 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2013.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has seen its stock gyrate up and down in 2014, and the company is in the process of reorganizing via the spin-off of Synchrony and the sale or divestment of its appliances unit. GE showed with earnings in July that its total backlog was $246 billion. This was up $23 billion from a year earlier. This backlog is in all the heavy equipment, industrial, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors under GE.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is always proud to report its backlog with each earnings report. While the total backlog number had not changed much, if you adjust for its divested customer care outsourcing business, its backlog was down 1% to $136 billion.
These three top companies now have a combined backlog of a whopping $822 billion, up from about $785 billion for the same companies in late 2013.