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Boeing Shares Can Soar Above $100: Pros

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 | 12:13 PM ET
Boeing Shares Flying High
Monday, 29 Apr 2013 | 10:45 AM ET
Peter Arment, Sterne Agee analyst; and Carter Leake, BB&T Capital Markets analyst, have the play on the airline manufacturer, as its 787 Dreamliner takes flight again.

As Boeing puts the problems with the 787 Dreamliner battery behind it and brings down production costs, the stock can climb higher, say analysts.

"The bull case for Boeing was always free cash flow generation of the 787," Carter Leake of BB&T told CNBC on Monday.

After moving to the sidelines on the name when the battery problems in the Dreamliner surfaced, Leake admitted he was wrong and is back with a "buy" rating on the stock and a $110 price target. The stock is up nearly 22 percent so far this year.

"What changed for me was the quarter," Leake said. "Boeing put up 11 percent margins, despite the 787 issues. And if you look at the learning curve progress that we saw in the quarter, it's quite clear the 787 is on track to cash profitability."

The learning curve refers to how quickly Boeing is able to bring down manufacturing costs as production of new planes increases.

(Read More: How Boeing Came Back From the Brink)

"There are always learning curve issues when you're introducing a new platform, but I think they've made tremendous progress," Sterne Agee analyst Peter Arment said in the same interview.

He is also bullish on the Boeing free cash flow story, calling it "tremendous."

"We think cumulatively over the next three years they'll generate close to $18 billion in free cash flow," Arment said. "So they'll be able to fund not only their new development efforts, but also buy back a lot of stock."

He said that during the last two delivery cycles Boeing was able to buy back almost 10 percent of its stock. Arment expects that to happen again, which can push shares of the aerospace giant higher.

Arment acknowledged that the sequester has been an overhang, but he expects growth in Boeing's international business to mitigate pressure on its domestic defense business.

(Read More: Boeing 787 Could Face Costly New Challenge)

"In Boeing's case 42 percent of their backlog is international," Arment said. "So their $30 billion defense portfolio is going to hold up quite well over the next few years."

He rates Boeing shares a "buy," with a $100 price target, but said over the long-term there's "tremendous upside" above that target.

By CNBC's Justin Menza; Follow him on Twitter @JustinMenza

Additional News: Dreamliner Troubles Begone! Boeing Profit Beats by a Mile

Additional Views: Trader Bets Boeing Will Soar: Stutland

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Disclosures:

Boeing is an investment banking client of BB&T, and BB&T received compensation from Boeing in the past 12 months for products and services other than investment banking services. Sterne Agee and BB&T make markets in Boeing securities.

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