Ford Posts One of Its Best Years Ever and Boeing is on Deck For Wednesday

The Dow is trading higher today as investors wait for one of its highest-weighted components, Boeing, to report fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow.

Jan 28, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up a modest 0.55% in midafternoon trading, even after a new report showing that durable goods orders sank 4.3% in December -- drastically below the expected 1.5% rise from the previous month. Typically a drop in volatile aircraft orders plays a large role in such a decline, but even excluding that segment the drop was 1.6%. In other news, the home price index covering 10 major U.S. cities increased 13.8% through the year ending in November, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller report. With those figures in mind, here are a couple industrial giants making headlines this week.


Boeing's first 787 produced at its increased production rate. Source: Boeing.

Inside the Dow, Boeing (NYSE:BA) is on deck to report fourth-quarter 2013 earnings before the market opens Wednesday. Analysts expect a strong quarterly performance, with the company bringing in a large amount of commercial aircraft revenue that will offset a slightly weaker defense business segment. Boeing is expected to post a 2% increase in year-over-year revenue to $22.74 billion, while delivering earnings per share of $1.57. Boeing's management will also provide guidance for 2014, although historically the initial guidance is very conservative.

One thing investors would be wise to focus on during Boeing's earnings conference call is production rate details for all of the company's aircraft. To better convey the importance of the company's production rate, consider that the 737 aircraft represents roughly 70% of Boeing's backlog; with current production rates it would take until mid-2021 to deliver existing orders. That led the company to announce plans for ramping up production of its 737 by 24%; but investors would be wise to pay close attention to any additional details regarding production speed.

Outside the Dow, Ford (NYSE:F) reported positive fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday morning. Ford's sales increased and its operating margin remained strong in its profit-driving region: North America. Ford's pre-tax earnings checked in at $0.31 per share, above estimates of $0.28. For the year its pre-tax earnings hit $8.6 billion, which was a $603 million improvement from a strong 2012 performance.

One of the biggest positive developments for investors was Ford's progress on its pension plan. At the end of 2012 its pension plan was underfunded by a whopping $18.7 billion. By the end of 2013 that number was reduced by more than half, to $9 billion. The main driver here was an increase in the discount rate, a number used to define the asset level Ford is required to have in its pension fund, which lowered its overall pension obligations. That rising discount rate, in combination with Ford's contributions of $5 billion into the fund this year, helped drastically reduce one of the biggest worries of potential Ford investors. 

The 2 Best Automaker Investments Revealed
U.S. automakers boomed after WWII, but the coming boom in the Chinese auto market will put that surge to shame! As Chinese consumers grow richer, savvy investors can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the help from this brand-new Motley Fool report that identifies two automakers to buy for a surging Chinese market. It's completely free -- just click here to gain access.

Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers