Can Boeing Soar Higher in 2013?

As December comes to a close, 2013 is just around the corner, and it's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) . Boeing has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) since 1987, but despite celebrating its 25th anniversary in the Dow this year, its stock performance was somewhat sluggish during 2012 even though it enjoyed huge sales throughout the year. Below, you'll see more about Boeing's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Boeing

Average Stock Target Price

$86.38

Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate

$5.00

Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate

$5.09

Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate

18.6%

Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate

8.2%

Forward P/E

15.0

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Boeing's stock finally take flight next year?
Analysts have fairly high expectations for Boeing, with target prices implying a 10% to 15% rise in the shares. Yet they see all of those gains coming from multiple expansion, as despite big revenue expectations, earnings aren't forecast to climb very far from current-year levels.

The biggest thing Boeing has going for 2013 and beyond is its massive backlog. With 800 Dreamliners and almost 3,000 of its workhorse 737 model aircraft still undelivered, Boeing has a chance to put some big wins into the earnings column by delivering on its promised planes.

But Boeing faces obstacles. Its ongoing labor dispute with its engineering union appears no closer to resolution than it was last month, and with talks suspended until January, Boeing really needs to get the matter decided as quickly as possible in order to avoid any production impact.

More importantly, Boeing also needs to address safety issues on its planes. With Dreamliner incidents affecting United Continental (NYSE: UAL  ) and Qatar Airways, the damage to Boeing's reputation could lead to carriers like Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL  ) , Air Canada, and British Airways pulling some of their 787 orders if the problems can't get resolved.

With an estimated $4.5 trillion in commercial aircraft orders coming over the next 20 years, Boeing and major suppliers General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) and Honeywell (NYSE: HON  ) are all relying on Boeing's being able to produce and deliver quality aircraft. That's been a problem area in the past, but if Boeing can finally get things moving forward, its stock has plenty of room to run higher.

Learn more
Boeing's real opportunity goes well beyond 2013. Find out everything you need to know about
whether Boeing is a buy right now from our premium in-depth research report on the aircraft maker, in which two of The Fool's best industrial industry minds have collaborated to provide you with key, must-know info about Boeing. They'll be updating the report as key news hits, so make sure to claim a copy today by clicking here now.

Click here to add Boeing to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.


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