Boeing (BA) is looking for a place to build its new midmarket airplane, nicknamed 797, and while many states are competing for the honor, Washington is touted by many to be the ideal choice. Washington has a $70 billion aerospace industry, as reported by Bloomberg, along with a rich resource of engineers and mechanics.
A state-backed study by industry analyst Richard Aboulafia concluded that based on various metrics, Washington stands way ahead of other states and it has more aerospace sales compared to any of them. Boeing has not yet made a decision as the company is grappling with decisions over cargo capacity and manufacturing costs.
That said, Boeing’s shares are flying high. The stock rose close to 9% last month and around 15% so far this quarter, barring slight fluctuations. In the past one year, the stock price has more than doubled. Most analysts have rated it a strong buy and today morning the stock reached a new 52-week high. Let’s look at why Boeing is in a good position.
In its most recent quarter, the company reported a 6% revenue increase which spanned all three of its business divisions, with the highest growth in defense at 13%. The defense business is a lucrative one for Boeing and the company has won contracts for several international projects. This division will also benefit from the FY18-19 U.S. defense budget and the backlog is in a solid position at $50 billion.
The defense business is a lucrative one for Boeing and the company has won contracts for several international projects
Boeing also has several interesting projects on the horizon. On Wednesday, the company said that it is investing in a San Francisco-based company, Kittyhawk, which specializes in unmanned aircraft systems technologies. Earlier this week, the aircraft maker said that it’s partnering with aircraft engineering company Safran to build auxiliary power units. The increase in backlog during the recent quarter along with growth in orders for its jet business all bode well for Boeing.
Hypersonic aircraft, space planes, underwater vehicles and flying taxis are some of the other future projects on Boeing’s list. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg believes flying taxis are not that far off from becoming a reality.
We had earlier reported that the steel and aluminum tariffs were likely to have an impact on the aviation industry but Boeing said this would not be much of an issue for the company as the majority of its required aluminum was sourced domestically. CNBC’s Jim Cramer believes that trade tension concerns over China will not impact the company as it is more likely to gain demand from other regions and therefore would not be significantly affected by these factors.
The ability to expand and invest in dynamic and futuristic projects as well as the resilience against certain adverse conditions serves to win Boeing some brownie points here. All in all, Boeing appears to be on the right flight path towards future growth.