Boeing's 787 Takes Off

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, yes. But not just any plane. It's Boeing's (NYSE: BA  ) 787 Dreamliner, a fully assembled model of which made its debut Sunday to a throng of enthusiastic reporters and employees.

Allow me to join the parade of praise. Congrats, Boeing. If only I'd bought in when I said your stock was cheap. I'd be sitting on close to a double right now, versus a 30% gain for the S&P 500 over the same period. Stupid.

Investors, who have bid up shares of the stock in each of the past two days, are acting as if I have another chance. As if seeing an assembled Dreamliner proves that Boeing's once-talked-about production problems with the 787 are a thing of the past.

They may have a point. More than 600 Dreamliner jets have been sold. Each delivery will bring a notable boost to earnings, beginning next May when, according to CNN, All Nippon Airways will place the first 787 into commercial service. That airline was one of the first to buy into Boeing's design, and it has 50 Dreamliners on order.

There's also Airbus to consider. Scandal and mismanagement have marred the once-proud Franco-German aircraft maker. Parent company EADS, which trades on France's CAC exchange, has seen its stock underperform vs. Boeing, which is up 29% over the past year.

But the stock could have more runway if analysts are even within spitting distance of being correct. They expect 17.8% earnings growth over each of the next five years. When compared with a 20.3 P/E ratio, that results in a 1.16 PEG ratio -- somewhat reasonable, if you're a PEG kind of person.

Still, I'm not a buyer of Boeing here, mostly because of the unpredictable nature of the commercial airline industry. But as a contributor to the Rule Breakers team, the 787's unique fuel-saving design and snap-together assembly strike me as genuinely rebellious innovations worth celebrating.

So, again: Congrats, Boeing. Now let's see what else you can do.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers, ranked 2,933 out of more than 60,000 participants in Motley Fool CAPS , held no shares of any companies mentioned above. Check out Tim's Fool profile and his blog. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy flies coach.


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