International commercial airplane producer, The Boeing Company (BA) announced its deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the first quarter of 2013. The company maintained its quarter delivery level on an annualized basis with deliveries of 137 airplanes.
The 737 model continues to be the pillar of Boeing’s strength in the commercial airplane sector with deliveries of 102 airplanes, followed by its 777 model with 24 deliveries. Both these models continue to perform better than competing models owing to their fuel efficiency and lower operating costs. In the year-earlier period, the company delivered 99 units of the 737 and 20 units of the 777 model.
Boeing’s deliveries in the defense and space business were 45 in the first quarter of 2013. Of this 15 were Apache helicopters, 12 were F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fighter jets and 9 were Chinook helicopters.
Moreover, Boeing won net orders for 209 planes in the Mar 2013 quarter, after considering the cancellations of 11 jets.
Boeing has a unique position as the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world in terms of revenues, orders and deliveries. Besides, it is one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world. Also, its revenues are spread across more than 90 countries around the globe.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, Boeing delivered better-than-expected results based on higher deliveries of commercial airplanes. The company's strong numbers came from higher commercial plane deliveries which more than offset a tepid quarter for defense.
Boeing's presence in the commercial airplanes market insulates the company from U.S. defense budget shock waves that are currently affecting all defense players across the board. Boeing had a strong commercial airplanes backlog. At the end of 2012, the company’s backlog was more than 4,400 airplanes valued at a record $319 billion.
Boeing currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, there are other companies in the sector that appear more promising and worth accumulating now. These are Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc. (WAIR), Flir Systems, Inc. (FLIR) and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK). Wesco Aircraft and Alliant Techsystems carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Flir Systems retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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