When can Boeing
Boeing just closed out an ugly year, delivery-wise. In 2001, it delivered 527 commercial airplanes. That number dropped to 381 for 2002, and is expected to fall to as low as 280 for 2003 and 2004.
Correspondingly, revenues from its commercial air division for 2002 lurched 23% to $28.4 billion. The unit's contribution to total revenues declined to 53% from 2001's 60%. That shift will continue, undoubtedly, over the next two years. Thanks to its military and space divisions, Boeing was able to keep its total revenue drop-off to 8%, with sales at $54.1 billion.
For 2003, Boeing expects total revenues to fall to $49 billion. Its military aircraft and missile systems division saw a 12.4% rise in revenues for 2002, and should a war happen in Iraq (Boeing has actually already built that assumption into its forecasts), the division's sales would likely shoot up again. In 2004, the company hopes revenue growth again turns skyward, with $52 billion to $54 billion anticipated.
Interestingly, Boeing produced more free cash flow for 2002 than it did in 2001, generating $3.4 billion -- 25% ahead of the previous year's $2.7 billion. This points to a company that's certainly struggling but definitely not down for the count.
With a P/E of 11 and P/FCF of around 7, shares might deserve a test flight right about now, if you're brave enough to weather the storms implicit in the next few years.