Friday featured another volatile session on Wall Street. The stock market bounced back from opening losses to reach the breakeven mark by mid-morning. After having been down as much as 100 points in the first half-hour of trading, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) were flat as of 11:20 a.m. EST as investors weighed the ongoing controversy in Europe over whether Greece will remain part of the eurozone and receive sorely needed economic support from its neighbors. Even with those concerns overhanging market sentiment, Boeing (NYSE:BA) led the Dow with sizable gains, while Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) shareholders celebrated solid results from the gold-mining company last night.
Boeing climbed 2% to reach another record high after a favorable analyst report from Sterne Agee set a new price target of $196 per share on the aerospace giant's stock. Boeing aims to get the biggest slice possible from the multitrillion-dollar aerospace pie, and analysts have long pointed to Boeing's impressive backlog of orders -- airlines are lining up to buy the aircraft manufacturer's newer and more fuel-efficient models -- as a potential driver for exponential growth over the next 20 years. Sterne Agee also believes massive free cash flow will allow Boeing to accelerate stock repurchases over the next few years, anticipating a reduction in outstanding share counts of as much as 15%. Moreover, if adverse defense-industry trends that have held Boeing's overall growth back finally start to subside, the company could bounce back even more quickly and see even more dramatic gains in future years.
Meanwhile, Newmont Mining shares soared 6%, reflecting optimism over its fourth-quarter results despite sluggish performance from the precious-metals markets. The gold miner posted adjusted earnings of $0.17 per share, and even though revenue dropped by almost 8% to $2 billion, Newmont still managed to bring in far more money than the $1.8 billion consensus among those following the stock. Cost-cutting measures were particularly important for Newmont during the quarter, with average costs of $631 per gold-equivalent ounce falling dramatically from last year's $766 per-ounce figure. Gold prices have held their own at current levels, but they haven't been able to stage any lasting rallies, either, and it's therefore essential for Newmont and all of its industry peers to reduce costs to the greatest extent possible in order to support their profit margins.
Uncertainty in the global economy could continue to hold broad-based market benchmarks in a holding pattern. But by focusing on the companies that are succeeding the most even in challenging conditions, you can improve your chances of earning market-beating returns over the long haul.