Get ready to see plenty of the usual aviation-related play on words when you read about Boeing’s second-quarter earnings on Wednesday morning.
I can see the headlines now.
“Boeing 2Q earnings soar”
“Aviation giant reports lofty numbers”
“Dreamy profits for maker of Dreamliner”
What to expect in 2Q
The Thomson Reuters consensus calls for Boeing to post second-quarter earnings per share of $1.57, up 24 percent from year ago on $20.73 billion in revenue, up 4 percent last year.
Boeing will also update its full-year earnings guidance on Wednesday. The current estimate on Wall Street is for the company to earn $6.50 per share.
Despite all the headlines about issues with the 787, the steady increase in production and deliveries of the Dreamliner underlines the strength in commercial planes.
(Read More: 787 Fire: Investigators Focus on Key Component)
Dreamliner, commercials planes soar
The big event in the second quarter for Boeing was the resumption of deliveries on the embattled 787 line. Remember, Boeing gets the majority of the payment on a plane when it is finally delivered. As a result, the resumption of Dreamliner deliveries is a welcome boost to the top-line.
Make no mistake, Boeing is still a long ways from turning a profit on the Dreamliner.
That’s not the case with its other commercial planes, including the very popular 737 and 777. Those two lines are now operating at higher monthly delivery rates and that will drive stronger numbers in the commercial plane business.
As commercial goes, so goes BA stock
When Boeing reports earnings, Wall Street will ask plenty of questions about the defense side of the business and how it’s holding up in a world of tighter defense budgets.
In reality, Boeing’s stock tends to rise and fall with the real and perceived fortunes of its commercial plane business.
That’s why during the conference call it will be interesting to see how investors react to CEO Jim McNerney’s assessment of the Boeing commercial airplane business.
Boeing still has plenty of challenges bringing down its costs while improving margins in the commercial plane division, but the trajectory of both is improving and that could be the type of news to make investors push BA shares to a new high.
Lastly, the past two weeks have been filled with a series of potentially troubling stories for Boeing.
An Asiana Airlines 777 crash landed in San Francisco. That was followed by an Ethiopian Airlines 787 catching fire while parked at a gate in London. On Monday, a Southwest Airlines 737 skidded to a stop on the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
The knee jerk reaction when these accidents happen is to assume Boeing will take a hit because there is some problem with the plane that contributed to the accident or incident. In reality, the stock has been resilient because there is no indication in any of these accidents of a structural and manufacturing flaw that could be a broader issue for Boeing.
—Follow Phil LeBeauon Twitter: @Lebeaucarnews.