Boeing Notches Record Performance on Orders, Deliveries in 2013

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) released its final tally of airplane order bookings for calendar year 2013 today, showing a big jump from where the company had been when it last checked in, back in mid-December.

For all of 2013, Boeing booked 1,531 gross commercial orders, a company record, and 1,355 net commercial orders, the second-largest number in company history.

Through year-end 2013, Boeing reported receipt of:

  • 1,208 "gross" orders for various flavors of its 737 regional airliner
  • 183 orders for the 787 Dreamliner
  • 121 for the 777 airliner
  • 17 747 orders, and
  • two 767s.

Thus, it appears that Boeing benefited from a huge surge of last-minute shopping among its customers in the final weeks of 2013. Customers placed orders for 250 new 737s, 25 units of the larger 777, and seven 747s in the space of just two weeks.

After subtracting 162 orders for single-aisle 737s lost to cancellation and eight 777s, five 747s, and the single 787 order also canceled, this left Boeing with a total of 1,355 net orders booked for the year.

For the time being -- at least until Airbus  (NASDAQOTH: EADSY  ) updates its own numbers, which stood at 1,314 net orders through November -- this pushes Boeing into first place for net new orders received in 2013.

In terms of deliveries, Boeing says it set a company record in 2013 for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year with 648. Unfilled commercial orders stood at 5,080 at year's end, also a Boeing record.

Boeing reported through year-end 2013 deliveries of:

  • 440 of its 737 regional airliners,
  • 98 of its larger 777s,
  • 65 new 787 Dreamliners,
  • 24 units of the 747 jumbo jet,
  • 21 767s.

Boeing distributed these 648 planes among at least 85 different customers -- perhaps more, given that the company's list of customers includes two potential multiparty categories: "Business Jet/VIP Customer(s)" and "Unidentified Customer(s)."

Alongside familiar names such as American Airlines and British Airways, Boeing's customer list also included unconventional buyers including the U.S. Navy and the Indian navy (which bought P-8I subhunting warplanes, derived from the 737).

At last report -- in late November -- Boeing archrival Airbus was reporting total deliveries of just 562 planes for 2013. Pending confirmation of Airbus' final tally, it looks like Boeing may have won the crown of "world's biggest airplane maker in 2013" as calculated by planes delivered.

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  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 8:38 PM, GarryGR wrote:

    Just how many measures are there for judging who's the largest aircraft manufacturer?! ;-) Seems like orders and/or deliveries are not as good a measure as the old standby, revenue. Long ago, Airbus succeeded in getting many analysts to use orders as the measure. And, then they proceeded to make sure, by hook and crook, that they came up with a bigger number than Boeing did! ;-) The order numbers have been shown to be a very poor measure, as it would have projected Airbus delivering many more planes than Boeing, by long before now; while a cursory look at comparable revenues would have shown a much different picture.

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Rich Smith

As a defense writer for The Motley Fool, I focus on defense and aerospace stocks. My job? Every day of the week, I'm monitoring the news, figuring out the winners and losers, and tracking down the promising companies for you to invest in. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace, and other great stories.

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