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FAA Meeting On Boeing's 737 MAX 'Good Enough,' Says Bullish Morgan Stanley

Tanzeel Akhtar

The FAA meeting on Boeing Co (NYSE: BA)'s grounded 737 MAX planes was "good enough," according to a still-bullish Morgan Stanley. 

Reuters reported Friday that United Continental Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) is extending its cancellation of 737 MAX flights through Aug. 3. 

The Analyst

Rajeev Lalwani maintained an Overweight rating on Boeing with a $500 price target. 

The Thesis

Lalwani said he viewed the meeting as supportive and named the following takeaways. (See the analyst's track record here.) 

There were no major setbacks in progressing on the MAX's return to service, he said. A "degree of progress" is being made on understanding the causes of the accidents; the engagement between Boeing and various aviation authorities; and advancing upgrades to the MAX. The FAA said the meetings were “comprehensive and constructive," “very good" and “exceedingly positive," the analyst said. 

There was no consensus on a timeline for a gradual lifting of the plane's grounding as different authorities conduct their own analysis — in-line with Morgan Stanley's expectations, Lalwani said. 

Although there is a collaborative approach amongst aviation authorities, even if timelines are not synced. There were nearly 60 global representatives from over 30 countries that included Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese, and European authorities, indicating a degree of collaboration on sharing information and moving towards a return-to-service.

Safety will continue to dictate the timing of certifying upgrades, though a one- to two- month timeline was not ruled out, the analyst said. 

Price Action

Boeing shares were up 1.34 percent at $255.23 at the time of publication Friday. 

Related Links: 

Report: Boeing 737 MAX Jets Need 100-150 Hours Prep Before Flight

Report: US Officials 'Increasingly' Believe Boeing Ethiopian Crash Was Consequence Of Birds

Photo by Jeff Hitchcock/Wikimedia. 

Latest Ratings for BA

Date Firm Action From To
May 2019 Maintains Neutral
May 2019 Downgrades Overweight Equal-Weight
Apr 2019 Downgrades Buy Neutral

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