Today should have been a good day for Boeing (NYSE: BA ) . In fact, it would have been a good day for one of the world's two biggest planemakers. The problem was that pesky other airplane company.
This morning, Boeing crowed over the success it's achieved in 2011: 118 planes delivered in the fiscal second quarter, or 14 more than itnchurned out in Q1. That would have been great news for the Seattle seahawk, but for the news that Airbus floated several hours earlier: It has delivered 258 planes in the first half of the year -- or 16% more birds than Boeing hatched.
And it gets worse. Unmentioned in Boeing's press release, but laid out in black and white on its website, is the tally of new orders Boeing's booked so far this year. Through June 30, Boeing has booked 230 orders for its fleet of 737s, 777s, and 787 Dreamliners -- but experienced nearly five dozen cancellations. Net-net, the company's booked 171 orders so far this year.
And Airbus? More, of course. We've been reading all year about the company's multiple contract wins from customers AIG (NYSE: GE ) , General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , Air Lease (NYSE: AL ) , and JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU ) . But only now does the scale of Airbus' victory become apparent. So far this year, the Euro-planemaker has secured a Boeing-mocking 777 orders for its planes. Minus 137 cancellations, its net sales figure YTD is 640 planes -- nearly three times as many as Boeing has secured.
Clearly, this does not bode well for Boeing. Securing orders is how a planemaker builds up backlog, and backlog is in turn key to future revenue -- and profits. The farther behind Boeing falls in this race, the worse its prospects appear … and the lower its stock price will fall. That's one reason I called the top on Boeing's stock price last month, after previously praising the company last year. It's one of several reasons I'm sticking with that bearish call today.