Boeing shares to rally to new record on 'robust demand' for aircraft, Jefferies says

Key Points
  • Analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu increases her Boeing price target to $312 a share, implying 18 percent upside.
  • "We have increased confidence that Boeing can grow EPS at a low double-digit rate supported by robust demand for its commercial aircraft," Kahyaoglu says.
  • Boeing is up nearly 70 percent this year and hit an all-time high earlier this month.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates vice president and prime minister, center blue sandals, passes a Boeing Co. 787-10 passenger aircraft, operated by Emirates Airlines, during the 15th Dubai Air Show at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.
Natalie Naccache | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"Robust demand" for Boeing's commercial aircraft presents a compelling investment opportunity, according to a Jefferies analysis.

A persistent pileup of commercial jet orders will lead Boeing to grow deliveries 6 percent annually through the next 10 years, Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said in a note toclients Tuesday. She reiterated her buy rating and bumped up her 12-month price target.

"We have increased confidence that Boeing can grow EPS at a low double-digit rate supported by robust demand for its commercial aircraft and higher productivity," Kahyaoglu wrote. "Given the size of the backlog, near-term production is well supported, but the opportunity set should likely keep backlogs at elevated levels."

Boeing has been a Dow Jones industrial average leader this year, up nearly 70 percent. The jet manufacturer hit a record on Nov. 8.

Shares traded 0.5 percent higher Tuesday morning.

The analyst sees a marked increase in production of Boeing's popular 787 Dreamliner from the current 12 units per month to 14 by 2019. While much of the current swell in demand for aircraft stems from expansion in the Middle East, European and U.S. capacity is likely due for replacement, she said.

In the case of United and Delta, Kahyaoglu said the average age of a wide-body aircraft is in excess of 15 years.

"While order backlogs for the Middle Eastern carriers look full, there appears to be some under penetration for U.S. and European carriers that have older fleets, with little in the way of backlog," she wrote. "Delta Airlines has a fleet of 163 widebody aircraft with an average age of 17 years. The airlines order backlog is for 49 aircraft."

The craze for planes is set to keep earnings per shares elevated in the years to come, added the analyst. She now expects adjusted EPS of $12.51 in 2019 and raised her 12-month price target to $312 from $300, representing 18 percent upside from Monday's close.