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The largest commercial airplane manufacturer The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report) is on course to meet its delivery target for 2013. The company aims to deliver 635 to 645 airplanes in 2013, including 60’ 787 deliveries. As of Nov 2013, the company delivered 580 airplanes, 54 of which comprised the 787 variant.  Boeing is thus geared to meet its target in the final month of the year.

As of Dec 3, 2013, the company booked net orders for 1,054 airplanes. In 2012, the company clinched net orders for 1,338 airplanes. Will Boeing be able to match prior-year orders this year? It seems unlikely as of now but given its wide offering it is not impossible.

The Dubai air show held in Nov 2013 was a success story for Boeing. The company used this international platform to launch its new 777X variant, fuel efficient, twin-engine jetliner. The launch was well received by the international community, resulting in a swelling order book. Boeing received 259 orders and commitments for 777X in Dubai.

Boeing exited third quarter 2013 with a backlog of 4,800 airplanes, the combined value of which amounted to $345 billion. The Dubai air show brought cumulative orders for 342 airplanes, which could add $101.5 billion to the current backlog if all the deals are closed successfully.

The 737 variant continues to comprise a major share of total order bookings. As of Dec 3, 2013, orders for 797 airplanes were received for this variant. Despite the many technical glitches, the 787 Dreamliner has consistently done well. The order tally for the Dreamliner is now at 164 airplanes. We expect the latest incarnation of the 777, which is 12% more fuel efficient than its peers, to boost the order book of the company.

In addition to its strong presence in the commercial airplanes industry, Boeing is also a strong operator in the defense sector. Some other stocks worth considering in the aerospace and defense industry include Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (HII - Snapshot Report), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Analyst Report) and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK - Analyst Report). While Alliant Techsystems holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Huntington Ingalls Industries and Northrop Grumman carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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