Following the stock woes caused by two separate instances of fires on board The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s new Dreamliner aircraft, the Washington state-based company is presently trading at a mark never seen before: $117. Trading was heavy and positive following the maiden flight of the company’s next generation 787 aircraft, which took off from an assembly plant in Everett, WA as hundreds of workers involved in its production looked on and up to the sky.
Boeing’s challenging programs
“The 747-8 and 787-8 were challenging programs, but we’re applying what we learned through a disciplined management model for development programs,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of airplane development. “We’re starting to reap the benefits on programs” such as the 787-9.
The fact that the stock was trading at $70 earlier this year following a worldwide grounding of the airplane makes Mr. Fancher’s comments a bit of an understatement.
“The 787-8 is the pathfinder that opens up the markets,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) Commercial Airplanes. “This airplane [787-9], with more capacity and the longer range, will fill in right behind it and pick up as the airlines start to increase loads.”
More specifically, the new 787-8 allows for 40 additional passengers and extends the range of prior iterations by over 300 nautical miles.
Boeing aircraft still having problems
While more than 80 Dreamliners are being flown by 14 airlines globally, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) acknowledged the aircraft still has problems, though the company expects to iron these out before the end of the year.
CEO Conner is known to start every morning by reviewing a report on each Dreamliner flight. Clearly, the Dreamliner is viewed as the most important plane that The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has produced in some time.
“This is a very strong effort on our part, as well as our suppliers part, to fix the airplane and get it up to dispatch reliability of 100 percent.”
Boeing’s production goal
Investors clearly believe that The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) will reach its production goals by the end of the year and are trading the stock accordingly.
“We’re … starting to increase our supply rate to 10 a month,” Conner said. “We’ll stabilize that and then figure out whether we want to take it up to 12 and possibly higher.”
Presently, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) faces a backlog of over 850 Dreamliners that require delivery.