Boeing shares surge most in 40 years amid turnaround plans

The company's shares soared 57 per cent during the final three months of the year

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Boeing shares posted their largest quarterly gain in 40 years after executives laid out a plan to turnaround the company, following four years of turmoil that have cemented Airbus’s lead as the world’s biggest plane maker.

Boeing’s shares soared 57 per cent during the final three months of the year, adding $42 billion to its market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That gives Boeing a market capitalisation of $113 billion, about $19 billion more than Airbus.

But Airbus delivered 565 jetliners this year through the end of November compared to 411 from Boeing, which hasn’t delivered more than 51 jets in a month this year. That means Airbus is likely to retain its position as the biggest plane maker on this basis. They won’t reveal their final delivery — and sales — totals for 2022 until early January.

The title as company with the most sales could hinge on recent deals. As of the start of December, Airbus had 825 orders compared to 576 net sales for Boeing. And Boeing chipped away at the lead with a 200-jet sale to United Airlines Inc and a 40-jet deal with a lessor.

Still, both companies will be challenged with delivering the planes they’ve sold on time. Manufacturing hiccups and supplier strains have led to a shortage of newly made jets. But there’s an upside: the plane makers are shielded from recession risks like order cancellations.

“If global airlines cancel orders in 2023, the next available aircraft delivery slots are not largely available until 2028,” Morgan Stanley analyst Kristine Liwag wrote in a December 30 note to clients.

Updated: January 01, 2023, 3:30 AM