Already up 73% year to date, good news from Boeing (NYSE: BA) seems to indicate that the company remains poised to continue its hot streak.
The biggest news comes from the company's latest order report, listing the orders through the end of October for this calendar year. Just two weeks ago, Boeing added five 747s, six 777s, 65 more 737s and one Dreamliner to the list, for a grand total of:
- 907 orders for 737s (or modifications of the 737)
- 133 orders for the Dreamliner
- 50 orders for the 777
- 10 orders for the 747
This is obviously a huge lift to the order book for Boeing, which recently announced plans to boost production of the 737, its most popular plane, from 38 to 42 per month during 2014, with intentions of increasing that number to 47 by 2017.
More potential future upside for Boeing includes the recent landing of a $99.6 million contract for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the U.S. Navy, as well as two contracts Boeing is currently aiming to secure worth an estimated $85 billion.
The first is a potential $30 billion contract with Emirates for around 100 777s, with the potential for that number to increase to 175. The exact number is not set in stone, but according to Emirates' President Tim Clark, "There will be a substantive order for the new 777."
The second contract involves a partnership with Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) for a $55 billion deal for a long-range bomber aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Opting for the alliance, the companies said, "... brings together nearly two centuries of combined experience designing, developing, and testing aircraft for defense customers around the world."
The partnership, a strong move for both defense companies, pretty much guaranteed the contract belonged to the two of them, since a partnership between two companies so experienced in the industry made the offer nearly impossible to refuse. Unfortunately, this bodes poorly for every other defense contractor, such as competitor Northrop Grumman, who lost a potentially huge contract that would have surely boosted revenue.
Even better news comes from the recent announcement that the 737 MAX, one of the company's aircraft, has confirmed additional fuel efficiency upgrades, totaling a 14% improvement. A representative from Boeing confirmed that the "recent fuel-efficient gain will widen the performance gap in the single-aisle market," further asserting the 737 MAX's spot atop the market in terms of value and fuel efficiency. Boeing has also improved technical specs of the planes to minimize maintenance downtime.
Want more good news? It would be a safe bet to look for Boeing's dividend to increase sometime in the near future. Its current yield of 1.5% trails the market average -- not that there is room to complain, given the stock's outstanding performance year to date. When Boeing set the dividend, it was about a 2.5% yield.
However, Boeing has increased its dividend two years in a row, and, with all of these contracts piling up, it's a safe bet the streak will continue. However, you should have reasonable expectations: Throughout its history, Boeing has been relatively conservative with its dividend. Expect a modest raise, potentially back to where it was before the 70% rise in price.
Foolish bottom line
Recent contract wins, increased orders, and model modifications bode well for the company for the years to come. And we're not just talking about this year and the next, but for years to come as airlines try to modernize their fleets. Boeing looks poised for success, watch for it to continue the trend of dividend increases as a result of its outstanding performance.
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