Boeing shares (NYSE: BA) are falling today after the company reported earnings before the market opened.
Boeing made an adjusted profit of $1.88 per share in the fourthquarter. The average analyst estimate for the period was $1.58 per share.
Revenues also exceeded expectations. Boeing’s sales totaled $23.79 billion in the period. That beat the $22.64 billion expected by analysts.
The fly in the ointment was guidance. Boeing said that it expected to make $7 to $7.20 per share in 2014. That’s lower than the $7.57 per share estimate currently expected by Wall Street.
There was no indication from the company as to the reasons for the guidance miss. CEO Jim McNerny appeared confident in his statements accompanying the release.
Shares of Boeing opened weaker on a down day for stocks. Boeing stock was down nearly 6% by midday.
Given current market worries about emerging markets, it should be no surprise that guidance from Boeing would come up short. The airplane maker is fairly dependent on foreign markets. Any potential weakness overseas would negatively impact earnings.
Why not mention that fact in the earnings report?
I think the answer is the company knew that an even bigger sell-off would have occurred had they been more cautious.
Boeing shares were huge winners in 2013 and as such the stock has a lofty valuation.
While that lofty valuation may be deserved, I’m not so sure that is the case, given today’s news.
Emerging market weakness should not be ignored with respect to the impact on Boeing. In fact you could argue earnings will be even lower in 2014 than currently expected, given developments in January.
With the reduced guidance, Boeing is on pace to grow profits at a paltry 3% clip in 2014. The stock trades for 18 times the 2014 guided number.
That’s a huge premium for a pittance of growth.
Today’s selling is likely just the start of bad things to come for Boeing this year. I would expect shares to drift lower throughout the year.
I suspect McNerny didn’t mention the potential impact of emerging market crisis because he would prefer a slow bleed of the stock.
Traders can profit on that approach by riding this one lower with put options or outright short selling of the stock.
Boeing is too expensive given the uncertain future.
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