Boeing is Cowen's No. 1 aerospace stock for 2019 due to airplane 'production sweet spot'

  • Cowen says the aerospace giant "is in a production sweet spot" heading into next year.
  • The firm says "most investors miss the power" of Boeing's "favorable production environment and potential to deliver extended cash flow ramp."
  • "It would take a sharp economic slowdown to disrupt the favorable current production outlook," Cowen says.
United Airlines Boeing 757-200 taking off at Los Angeles International Airport.
Laser1987 | Getty Images
United Airlines Boeing 757-200 taking off at Los Angeles International Airport.

Cowen's aerospace analyst named Boeing as his number one stock pick for 2019, saying in a note on Thursday the airplane maker "is in a production sweet spot" heading into next year.

"Most investors miss the power of BA's favorable production environment and potential to deliver extended cash flow ramp," Cowen's Cai von Rumohr said in a note to clients.

"Concern over recent headline risks (Lion Air crash, Saudi arms sale restrictions, etc.) also look overblown," Cowen said.

Boeing's stock is up more than 13 percent this year, even after shedding more than 6 percent in November as Indonesian investigators analyzed the Oct. 29 crash of a Boeing 737 MAX plane in which 189 people were killed.

The Wall Street firm said it sees Boeing getting a cash-flow bump next year from five areas: "(1) gradual production uptrend, (2) maturing mix, (3) stable pricing with supplier step-downs, (4) no upcoming labor negotiations, and (5) 787 delivery shift to more profitable Dash 9/10 models."

Cowen has a $445 a share price target on Boeing. The firm said the aerospace giant is primed for smooth growth next year, with quarterly earnings beats "as it consistently did in 2013 [through 2017]."

"Given visibility of a seven-year backlog and still-solid traffic growth, it would take a sharp economic slowdown to disrupt the favorable current production outlook," Cowen said.

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