Boeing Double-Ousted as Top Dow Stock for 2018

The meteoric rise of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has been an epic battle for one company to completely reclassify itself for investors. This was the best stock of the entire Dow Jones industrial average for 2017, and by far. And analysts have been literally stepping all over themselves to raise Boeing’s price target and earnings expectations ahead.

You may have heard the phrase “Nothing lasts forever.” For Boeing, that statement pertains to it holding on to the best performing Dow stock title. After a recent big pullback in its shares, Boeing is now only the third best performing Dow stock in 2018, with a total return of 12%.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) has taken over the Dow’s pole position as the best performing Dow stock in 2018. The networking giant has been migrating from hardware sales to a mix of sales in hardware, software, security and ongoing subscription-model revenues in services. Now Cisco’s total return year to date is more than 18%.

What is so interesting about Cisco is that its stock chart with shares just under $46 is still nowhere near its dot-com bubble absolute highs. At the peak of the bubble in March of 2000, Cisco briefly challenged a share price of $80. And Cisco still has more than an impressive dividend yield of 2.9%.

Another surprise for Boeing is that chip giant Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) has even overtaken the aerospace and defense for the number-two spot on the Dow’s top performers. Intel was up 12.4% year to date coming into Thursday’s opening bell.

Intel shares have been trying to form a break-out chart pattern similar to what had been seen in Cisco, and it also shares the notion that its stock used to be far higher (close to $75) back at the peak of its trading in the year 2000. What is driving Intel is far more than just PC and server chips these days. Now Intel is targeting all of those advanced applications for autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and many of the other key buzzwords that will define the future of technology.

It almost seems odd that Boeing would no longer be the top-performing Dow stock, after having held on to that position for so long.

Boeing was last seen trading down 1.1% at $326.61, and its 52-week high of $371.60 put the 10% correction at $334.44.

If analysts are correct, Boeing may once again take the lead after the dust settles. The consensus analyst price target of $386.78 leaves an implied upside of almost 18%, before considering its 2% dividend yield.

Trading at $51.68, Intel has a consensus target price of just $53.03 and a 52-week range of $33.23 to $53.78. With Cisco shares at $45.48, its consensus analyst target is $48.38 and its 52-week range is $30.36 to $46.16.

Even if we all know nothing lasts forever, what are the odds that most investors would have guessed that the two oldest of old-school tech stocks would be the leaders of the Dow? It might even make you think that one day even a telecom or food stock could lead again.