Analyst keeps 'Buy' rating on Boeing

NEW YORK -- An analyst reiterated his "Buy" rating on plane maker Boeing Co. Friday, noting a recent pullback in the stock and an improving mix of aircraft deliveries.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Stephen E. Levenson in a note to clients said that with some recent investor concerns regarding the pace of plane deliveries being alleviated, he was also raising his third-quarter earnings forecast by 2 cents to $1.03 per share.

That compares with an average forecast of $1.11 per share from analysts surveyed by data provider FactSet. Levenson's estimate is on the low end of Wall Street's range of $1.01 to $1.29 per share.

Even though the Chicago-based company on Thursday reported fewer deliveries than expected, Levenson said he believes it's a better mix, given improvements in deliveries of Apache and Chinook helicopters and other military aircraft. Boeing delivered 10 new Apache attack helicopters, 18 Chinook cargo helicopters and 12 F-18 fighter-bomber jets in the third quarter.

Boeing also said Thursday that it delivered 12 of its new 787s during the third quarter, double the number it delivered in the second quarter.

Overall, Boeing delivered one fewer commercial airplane in the summer than it did in the spring quarter. But it delivered 22 more than the same quarter a year earlier, or almost double the rate. Other deliveries in the period included 102 of its workhorse 737, eight revamped 747-8s, 20 of its large, long-haul 777s and seven 767s.

Levenson kept his $85 price target on the stock, indicating potential growth of 22 percent over the next year.

In morning trading, Boeing shares rose 55 cents, to $70.54, while the broader markets jumped following a strong employment report for September.