2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Boeing, United Continental Holdings, Air Lease, Lockheed Martin and Texas Instruments

CHICAGO, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) and Texas Instruments (Nasdaq: TXN).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Boeing Clinches $4B in Orders

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) received cumulative new orders for 27 commercial airplanes, worth $4 billion at current list prices. The new bookings will bring in a sigh of relief for this commercial airplane manufacturer, as its technologically sound 787 model is still grounded due to battery problems.

The orders include 17 airplanes of the 737 model. United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) ordered eight 737-900ERs, Qantas ordered five aircrafts and leasing company GECAS ordered for another four airplanes. On the other hand, 10 big 777 airplanes have been ordered by Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL). However, orders for two 737 airplanes was cancelled by an airline operator.

The 737 has a list price of $82 million to $107 million while 777 list prices range from $259 million to $315 million. We expect the airline operators to get a discount on the list prices as Boeing has historically offered discounts on bulk orders.

Boeing's commercial airplane revenue target for 2013 is in the range of $51 billion to $53 billion. The steady stream of orders received by the company so far in 2013 suggests that it is on the right track to meet its goals. Year to date, the company has received net orders for 191 airplanes, with the 737 model dominating the order book with 138 airplanes.

Recently, Boeing was able to secure a billion dollar order from Cathay Pacific Airways for three 747-8 Freighter airplanes. The order also includes options for five additional 777 Freighters.

The gradual recovery in the global economy is bringing in a steady improvement in passenger and freight traffic. As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) global airline passengers will touch 3.6 billion in 2016, expanding 5.3% per annum in the period 2012 to 2016.

We believe the airline operators will have to increase and/or upgrade their fleet to cope with the projected increase in passenger traffic. Boeing with its wide repertoire of airplane models will stand to benefit from rising customer demand for commercial airplanes.

Apart from the commercial airspace, Boeing is also one of the leading players in the U.S. Aerospace and Defense sector. Boeing and its aerospace peer Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) currently retain a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).  

Texas Instruments Revises Guidance

Recently, Texas Instruments (Nasdaq: TXN), or "TI," raised its revenue and earnings expectations to the upper end of its previously forecasted ranges for the first quarter of 2013.

The chipmaker now expects sales of $2.80–$2.91 billion versus its previous guidance of $2.69–$2.91 billion. The lower end of the earnings outlook range has also been raised to 28–32 cents per share from the previous guidance of 24–32 cents. The earnings guidance includes acquisition and restructuring charges and tax benefit of 6 cents per share.

Management stated that it is seeing improving demand for its chips from industrial customers and better-than-expected wireless chip sales. TI said that the demand for chips used in tablets and handsets was better-than-expected, but revenue from the Wireless segment would still decline in the first quarter as it is gradually defocusing the mobile business (and transferring the remaining wireless business to the Other segment).

However, the company admitted that it was still seeing weakness in the notebook and communications infrastructure markets.

Like other chip makers, TI has struggled in recent quarters due to a slow global economy and weak consumer spending. To maintain momentum, the company responded in part by cutting costs and trying to expand the use of its application processors on embedded solutions for the automobile, industrial and other non-consumer markets, which have a longer life cycle.

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