Dividend Hike Helps Boeing Retain Position as Top DJIA Stock

Boeing Co.’s (NYSE: BA) share price added about 2.8% last week to maintain its position as the best performing among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Shares gained $8.04 last week to boost the year-to-date gain to nearly 89%.

Of the three other stocks closest to Boeing’s yearly gain, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) rose by about 1.9% to a gain of over 58% for the year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) added about 2.7% to close the week up just over 50% for the year to date and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) tacked on 1.8% to bring its annual gain to nearly 46%.

Last week was a busy one for Boeing, at least for its public affairs staff. The company raised its dividend, approved a new share buyback program, lost a military jet order to Canada, lost a multibillion passenger jet order to arch-rival Airbus and then read the news about the shake-up at the top of its European competitor.

As expected, Boeing lifted its dividend following Monday’s board of directors meeting. The 20% increase, from $5.68 to $6.84 annually per share, was accompanied by a new share repurchase plan valued at $18 billion. The company posted a new 52-week high on Tuesday.

In a request for bids on an order for 88 new military fighter jets, the government of Canada included language aimed squarely at Boeing in retaliation for the company’s complaint against Bombardier’s sale of 75 CS-100 passenger jets to Delta.

Thursday got off to a rocky start with the announcement from Delta Air Lines that it had placed an order for 100 Airbus A321neo single-aisle passenger jets, along with options on another 100. At list prices the deal is worth around $12.7 billion. Boeing competed hard for this one and the loss, though not welcome, is reasonably insignificant. The company’s backlog of single-aisle (737 family) jets totals more than 4,000.

The week ended with the announcement that Airbus CEO Tom Enders will not seek to extend his contract when it ends in April 2019 and COO Fabrice Br茅gier announced he will leave the company this coming February. These are just two of manytop executives who are retiring or leaving soon.

Boeing stock closed at $293.34 on Friday, up less than 0.1% on the day, in a 52-week trading range of $154.96 to $97.37. The high was posted Friday morning. The 12-month consensus price target is $290.43, up about $5 from last week’s target. The low price target is $203 and the high is $350.

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