The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) stock had an outstanding 2017 as the company benefited from ongoing strength in the industry and internal execution on its aircraft platforms. In order to assess whether the company will have a similarly successful year in 2018, it’s useful to look at what went right last year and the trends going into this year. In this vein, here are the five key things to look out for this year.
End market growth
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the most widely followed aviation industry body, and its forecast is for more growth to come. Two of the key numbers to focus on are airline profitability and passenger load factors. Airline profitability tends to correlate with aircraft orders, and the higher a load factor is (ratio of passenger kilometers traveled to available seat kilometers), the more pressure airlines will feel to expand capacity.
As you can see below, the IATA expects airline profitability and load factor to carry on their strong uptrends in 2018 — good news for Boeing and chief competitor Airbus.
Record deliveries and strong orders
Boeing’s 763 deliveries in 2017 represent an industry record, and as you can see below, orders of 912 were significantly in excess of deliveries in 2017. Ultimately, Boeing’s backlog now stands at 5,864 representing, 7.7 years of deliveries at the record rate achieved in 2017…