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Tickers in this Article: BA, UAUA, CAL, BEAV
Boeing (NYSE:BA) has taken an awful hit in the media and in the investment community because of delays with the release of its 787 Dreamliner and lackluster demand for the aircraft. And unfortunately, the company's recent guidance for 2009 is probably going to do little to lift it in shareholders' eyes. I plan on keeping a close eye on Boeing, because in the long run I see this stock lifting off the runway.

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The Latest News
This past week the airplane maker released its third-quarter results, announcing a $2.22 loss from continuing operations. What made this loss even worse was that the estimate for the period was a loss of $2.12. But I think the much bigger news was the guidance the company offered. In the release it said it was looking for $1.35 to $1.55 in 2009. To some that haven't been paying close attention, and didn't notice the difficulties it's been experiencing or understand how difficult the operating environment is, this may come as a bit of a shock. Keep in mind that 90 days ago the Wall Street estimate had been $4.62. (For more on analyst expectations, be sure to read Analyst Forecasts Spell Disaster For Some Stocks.)

Wait For A Pullback
The fact that the company is expecting a profit, and a fairly sizable one at that in what is probably one of the most difficult economic environments, is promising. I mean, some of the larger airlines out there, including UAL Corporation(Nasdaq:UAUA) and Continental (NYSE:CAL), are expected to post large losses in the current year. However, for a company that trades around the $50 mark, the number Boeing is expecting for this year isn't all that impressive.

In Boeing's defense, as consumers begin to spend money on travel, airlines should have more money to spend and I think Boeing by extension can potentially make a great deal of money and the stock could rise. And longer-term, the company should benefit in a large way as our nation and the world sees increased populations and likely an increased need for travel-related activity.

In 2010 Wall Street expects the company to earn $4.40, and I think that's certainly possible at this point. However, at the same time, a lot could go wrong until then and the fragile economy could languish, which could push substantial earnings off into the future. I'd like to wait another quarter or two before getting involved.

I am also going to point out that insiders have been pretty quiet lot lately, which maybe isn't that surprising given the news that's been circulating and what I think are probably a lack of trading windows. That said, I would like to see some senior executives spend some money on the stock in the open market as I think it would send a positive message to the investment community. Note that I do not need to see buying for me to change my tune from hesitant to outright bull. But it would be nice.

Another Player Worth Considering
I am a big believer in the future of the aviation industry. Now, that doesn't mean that I think all companies associated with airplanes will automatically fare well. However, there are some that I think can do exceptionally well, in time. Besides Boeing, another company that I think deserves more than a mention is BE Aerospace (Nasdaq:BEAV). I've mentioned them in previous articles, but the aircraft interior company has some nice upside potential. The Florida-based company trades at 14.9 times the 2009 estimate, which is at $1.39. (For more on airlines, see our Airline Industry Handbook.)

Bottom Line
I like Boeing and think it can really spread its wings and fly a long distance in the long-term. But right now it trades at a high multiple of this year's EPS estimate and, frankly, I'd like to hold off for another quarter or two to make sure I feel comfortable with next year's estimate before I go any further.

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