Is The Boeing Company (BA) Really In Rally Mode?

Over the past 3 years, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has continued to lead the skies with its sales of twin aisle planes and the introduction of a carbon-fiber aircraft before competition. As a result, its net profit margin is higher than the competition. But with the introduction of the A380 and A350, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) is coming back stronger than before. If the Paris Airshow is any evidence, then EADS is catching up to Boeing – fast. In this article, we will see how Boeing performs relative to EADS and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT).

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)


The introduction of the A350 has made EADS a very interesting choice for investors, especially right now as the timing allows potential gains of the highest order. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s shares and the company itself are still pretty much in the market lead with their very healthy production line of 784s and various 777s. Lockheed Martin, on the other hand, seems set to capitalize on all of its research and spending as it starts delivering F-35 Lightning to the U.S armed forces and interested parties abroad. It’ll be a massive shot in the arm for whoever gets the South Korean contract, and it will undoubtedly be a welcome financial boost

The competition is essentially between EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s F-15 Silent Eagle, and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning. The F-35 is also widely expected to be inducted into the U.S. armed forces around to the amount of 2,400 units. However, there are doubts about the company’s ability to deliver the F-35s on time.



Lockheed Martin
Market Cap $78.2 bil $47.5 bil $34.8 bil
Price/Earnings ttm 19.3 26.2 12.5
Price/Book 10.5 3.7 113.6
Net Income Growth (3 Yr Avg.) 43.8 -3.2
Revenue Growth (3 Yr Avg.) 6.2 9.7 2.4
Dividend Yield
, %
1.80% 1.05% 4.11%
Net Margin % TTM 5.0 2.3 6.0
Debt/Equity 1.1 20.2
Return on Equity 65.4 13.7 302.4
Current Price $103.22 $57.86 $108.58

Lockheed Martin is the most expensive stock out of its peers. More worryingly, though, the company’s operating cash flow growth and free cash flow growth were both in the negatives for 2012. Furthermore, due to the large research and development required to build military aircraft, Lockheed Martin’s debt/equity looks bloated beyond repair. However, due to the close involvement with the government in providing aerial solutions, funding is not a particular issue – unless a massively-funded project fails. At the same time, the company is offering a very attractive 4.11% yield on its stock – something none of its competitors offer.

Final words

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has enjoyed a run up during the past few months, with the stock increasing 27% year-to-date. I expect Boeing to keep growing its profits due to increasing demand for commercial and space flights. EADS will eventually occupy a bigger share of the commercial airplane market and come closer to Boeing. However, it is hard to imagine how Boeing will allow itself to lose its market position. With 100 years of experience Boeing will investigate new concepts and markets and keep competing with fast growers like EADS.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) operates as a major player in a multi-trillion-dollar market in which the opportunities and responsibilities are absolutely massive. However, emerging competitors and the company’s execution problems have investors wondering whether Boeing will live up to its shareholder responsibilities.

Marina Avilkina has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin.

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