(BA) Boeing’s 777 Commercial Aircraft Are In Demand

The international commercial airplane producer, The Boeing Co. (BA) received orders, amounting to $5.6 billion, for 20 airplanes of its 777 model from two airliners.

Boeing received an order for 8 777-300 ERs airplanes from Singapore Airlines Ltd. for $2.3 billion. The aircrafts are expected to be delivered within the 2013-2014 financial year. Boeing also received orders for 4 777-300 ERs airplanes and 8 777-200F freighters from Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. for a total worth of $3.3 billion.

The 777 model along with the 737 version continues to be major pillars of Boeing’s strength in the commercial airplane sector. Both these models continue to do well due to their fuel efficiency and lower operating costs compared to competing models.

Boeing received 345 gross orders for new airplanes as of August 2, 2011, of which 23%, or 81 airplanes, were for 777 while a lion’s share of 71%, or 244 airplanes, was claimed by the 737 model.

Strong performance from the commercial airplanes business and stable core operations allowed Boeing to register a solid second quarter 2011. The company surpassed both year-ago results and the Street estimates. Boeing raised its earnings per share guidance range for fiscal 2011 to $3.90 – $4.10 from an earlier band of $3.80 – $4.00, riding on the back of encouraging realized numbers.

However, Boeing lowered its commercial airplane delivery guidance for 2011 to a range of 485–495, from 485–500 forecast earlier. The reduction was due to lower planned deliveries in the second half of 2011 on development programs (especially 787 and 747-8 units).

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for third quarter 2011, fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 currently stand at $1.08 per share, $4.23 per share and $5.30 per share, respectively.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. has a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). The company competes with the likes of General Dynamics Corp. (GD), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC).

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