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Boeing's future sealed as China resumes order flow

MarketBeat - Wed Nov 15, 2023

Boeing logo on a building in LAX airport

Boeing (NYSE: BA) has rallied as much as 22.7% during the past week. This is only the beginning of a significant rally underway, which may help erase the decline in the stock that saw its start as far back as 2019. Analysts and markets are aligned with the massive upside that this stock is promising.

Filled with tailwinds, this stock may be able to finally overtake its competitor, Airbus (OTCMKTS: EADSY). Airbus has been boasting about its successes lately, but as the saying goes, Sleep on a win, and you'll wake up with a loss. Boeing management is hungry to bring its stock back to its former glory. 

Climb aboard to find out why Wall Street's chips are all-in for this stock, forgetting and leaving behind all sorts of competitors.

Votes just came in 

When you take the whole of aerospace stocks, the sector is spread out considerably. However, by using MarketBeat's stock screening tool, you can sort stocks by order of price-to-earnings ratio. Doing this lets you reliably assess where the markets expect growth and quality.

Go ahead, check this out for yourself, though you're probably itching to find out what it is that makes Boeing the easiest buy this quarter, so here's the gist of the analysis that has been done for you:

This sector trades at an average forward P/E of 20.4x. The average forward P/E seeks to place a value on the next twelve months of earnings.

Airbus is valued roughly in line with the rest of the sector at a 19.0x multiple or a discount of 6.8%. However, a discount does not always lead to a purchase decision. As skeptics rightly point out, it could be cheap for a reason. 

Boeing, trading at a significantly higher forward P/E of 62.8x, looks like the better deal. Now, think about it: why would the market reward this stock with a 162.0% premium valuation over the sector? And why does this 'expensive' stock sound like a better deal than Airbus?

Like any other product or service, when there are two identical providers, the one that can command higher prices must be able to back it up with quality or some other superior characteristic, right? After all, you would not want to go with the cheaper heart surgeon just to save a few bucks.

In the world of stocks, the same applies within reason. All things being equal, markets will judge the value of a stock based on its current - and future - earnings quality and potential growth. Connecting those two dots, it will become clear why Boeing is the favorite child of the sector.

Results based expectations 

Knowing what you know now, the next question you will likely ask from this deal is: Where are Boeing's earnings expected to go from here? I'm glad you asked. But first, it's essential to get the sector's benchmark view, and the average earnings growth is expected to be 21.4% for the next twelve months.

Airbus analysts expect EPS to jump by a decent amount, at 22.8%. That is almost right in line with the industry average. This shows why the stock is valued relatively within the industry's standard forward P/E. How is Boeing doing in this department?

Well, try more like 159.0% expected EPS growth. Almost ten times the industry's average expected growth will justify why markets are willing to overpay for Boeing stock.

Now, if earnings are the main driver for a stock's valuation, then why are analysts only pointing to a price target of $245.2 a share? At that level, the stock only implies an 18.1% upside from today's prices... Perhaps these ratings are overdue for a boost?

However, numbers are just fairy tales without clear reasoning behind them. What drives the bullish expectations is the comeback of a major player in the company's order flow book.

Chinese President Xi will be coming to San Francisco this week, and within the summit's agenda is an expectation that the nation will unfreeze its ordering of Boeing aircraft for the first time since 2019.

Knowing that China's economy is expected to turn around soon, it would make sense that markets are placing such an optimistic outlook on earnings. Markets are not alone in this view, as investors like Ray Dalio have been allocating to Chinese equity baskets such as the iShares MSCI China ETF (NASDAQ: MCHI).

The article "Boeing's future sealed as China resumes order flow" first appeared on MarketBeat.

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