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Boeing announces it recorded 1,044 plane orders in 2006, its second straight record year after 1,002 orders in '05. It reports strength across the board, as some analysts expect the aerospace up cycle to continue into 2010 or '11. Boeing's Commercial Airplanes President and CEO comments, "The strong orders for the past two years are a validation of our strategy of focusing on our customers, simplifying our product and services offerings and transforming our production system." Boeing-BA-1yr-chart-01-04-07 He adds, "Beyond the order totals, we are very excited about the breadth and depth of our 2006 order book." Rival Airbus, which reports its '06 orders on the 17th, only had 635 orders at the end of Nov. Boeing could regain the lead in orders which Airbus has held since '01, but Airbus is still seen delivering more planes this year, est. 425 vs. 398, as it has annually since '03. Boeing aims to surpass Airbus in deliveries in '08. Based on list price, Boeing's '06 orders could be worth between $115.9b - $124b, according to media sources.

• Sources: Press release [I, II], Boeing: Orders and Deliveries, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, Times Online, WSJ
• Related commentary: Defense Sector Bests the S&P 500 for a Seventh Consecutive Year, Defense Stocks Should Continue to Outperform in 2007 -- NY Times, Boeing Is Flying High, Boeing Continues To Succeed at Airbus' Expense. Conference call transcripts: Boeing Q3'06
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Boeing (BA). Competitor: EADS (Paris: 005730). ETFs: iShares Dow Jones US Aerospace & Defense (ITA), PowerShares Aerospace & Defense (PPA), Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI)

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Source: Boeing Sets New Order Records in '06