Past Performance: Boeing (BA) has been a chronic under promiser, over deliverer when it comes to earnings guidance. Over the past four years, Boeing has only missed earnings expectations twice. To make the picture look even rosier, both of those misses happened in 2009 with the last miss coming in the third quarter of 2009.
Boeing has been on an absolute tear since February 25th of this year, soaring from just $75.03 north of $84.00 per share. Boeing resolving the battery issues with their new 787 plane may push the stock above the $90 per share level. Competitor Airbus may have difficulties keeping up with Boeing, especially when you take into consideration the new 737 contract Boeing just acquired.
Fundamentals: Boeing currently trades with a P/E of 16.57, a Forward P/E of 11.72, a P/S of .78, and a PEG of 1.19. For comparison purposes, take a look at both the industrial sector and the S&P 500 average. The industrial sector has a P/E of 21.4 and a Forward P/E of 16.8. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 sector trades with a current P/E of 20.5 and a Forward P/E of 17.7. Comparing Boeing to both of those metrics, Boeing's stock looks cheap. Although the stock looks slightly overbought on a technical basis right now with an RSI, Slow Stoch, and Fast Stoch all over 80, there is firm support at the $75 on a pullback.
The Story: There is downside risk for Boeing with the dreaded sequester sure to effect how many planes the airlines and military will order from them. However, Boeing books contracts for their planes years in advance and currently have a pipeline that will keep their production lines busy for next several years. Take in to account that Boeing reclaimed the number one spot for jet makers by delivering 601 jets in 2012. Then, consider that Boeing booked 1,203 orders for new jets in 2012 alone.
Boeing could just be starting a massive run, both capitalizing on and expanding on becoming the number one jet maker for the first time in a decade. If Boeing can continue to book orders at a reasonable pace they should continue to enjoy success. The new 737 will represent the biggest opportunity for Boeing to grow, and justifies the slightly higher than normal PEG ratio. Until the P/S ratio approaches the 1.0 level, or news comes out that Boeing is suffering serious hardships from the sequester, I don't see any resistance for Boeing before the $92 level.
How to Play It: Boeing is the "best of breed" in the aerospace sector. While the opportunity to capture the run from $75 per share to $84 per share may have passed, I believe a five to ten percent pullback from the current overbought levels would warrant a strong buy rating. Look for Boeing to continue strong sales and possibly even book more orders in 2013 than they did in 2012. My personal 52-week price target: $96.20.
Additional disclosure: Always consult with a registered financial professional before adding a position to your portfolio. Investing involves a significant risk of loss, as such never invest more than you can afford to lose.