Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) stock gained nearly 4 percent on Wednesday after the company beat third-quarter earnings estimates and raised its full-year guidance, suggesting 2018 could be a record year for revenue. Concerns over a potential negative impact from the U.S.-China trade war now seem a distant memory for Boeing investors, and analysts say strong global demand and aggressive capital returns will likely keep BA stock flying high.
Boeing reported adjusted third-quarter earnings per share of $3.58 on revenue of $25.15 billion. Both numbers topped consensus analyst estimates of $3.47 and $24.1 billion, respectively. Revenue was up 4 percent compared to a year ago.
Boeing reported 190 commercial airplane deliveries and operating cash flow of $4.5 billion on the quarter. Boeing’s backlog grew to $491 million and includes more than 5,800 planes.
Boeing’s commercial airplane segment reported revenue of $15.27 billion, down 1 percent from a year ago. Commercial airplane operating margin was 13.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in the same quarter last year.
“Our teams continued to perform at a high level during the quarter, driving solid operating performance and robust cash generation, and continuing to deliver on our One Boeing advantage by bringing the best of Boeing to our customers,” CEO Dennis Muilenburg says in a statement.
Looking ahead, Boeing raised its full-year EPS guidance from a previous range of between $14.30 and $14.50 to a new range of between $14.90 and $15.10. In addition, Boeing raised full-year revenue guidance by $1 billion for the second consecutive quarter Boeing now expects record 2018 revenue of between $98 billion and $100 billion.
Following Wednesday morning’s gain, Boeing shares are now up more than 24 percent year-to-date, but Bank of America analyst Ronald Epstein says BA stock is still gaining altitude. Epstein says strong global air traffic is driving demand for Boeing planes, and the company’s robust free cash flow and aggressive capital return program will help push the stock higher in the long-term.
“We expect these results to be positively received by the market,” he says.
Bank of America has a “buy” rating and $450 price target for BA stock.
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