Airbus Takes Aim at The Boeing Company (BA)

U.S. stocks are little changed his morning as the Federal Open Market Committee’s June policy meeting gets under way. The S&P 500 and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.29% and 0.42%, respectively, at 10:15 a.m. EDT.

The macro view: Inflation Tuesday

And speaking of Fed policy, Consumer Price Index data for the month of May was released this morning. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers — the most popular measure of inflation — rose by 0.1% last month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Stripping out food and energy, the core inflation index rose 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising just 0.1% during each of the prior two months. Year on year, the core index is up 1.7% (unadjusted) — close to the Fed’s 2% inflation target. These results help dispel the fear of disinflation or deflation, thereby diminishing one obstacle to the “tapering” of the Fed’s bond-buying program. Of course, we should know more about which way the Fed is leaning on this issue following the conclusion of the FOMC meeting tomorrow.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)

The micro view: Airbus vs. Boeing

Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier is showing a bit of swagger. First, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said he expected the company to raise its operating profit margin to 10% by 2015.

He then followed up with an interview with the Financial Times yesterday in which he took direct aim at his competitor, Dow component The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), saying he sees “no reason why [Airbus] would not expect – if we continue to do a good job — to lead [the market for wide-body, twin-engine aircraft].”

Although Airbus’ A-350 is 18 months behind its original schedule, Bregier is increasingly confident the company will deliver the plane to its first customer by mid-2014, in line with its revised timeline. Three versions of the A-350 will go head to head with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

As far as investors are concerned, one area in which Airbus has an advantage over The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is valuation: The shares of Airbus parent EADS NV trade for just less than 13 times the next 12 months’ earnings-per-share estimate, versus 15.1 for The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). In truth, however, neither of these blue-chips looks particularly attractive at this time. Investors would probably do just as well to put their money in an index fund.

The article Airbus Takes Aim at Boeing originally appeared on and is written by Alex Dumortier, CFA.

Fool contributor Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned; you can follow him on LinkedIn. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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