Boeing flies high and annual sales could top $100 billion

Worries about the economic slowdown in China have led to some turbulence on Wall Street this year. But aerospace and defense giant Boeing has had no problem navigating the choppy skies so far in 2019.

Shares of Boeing (BA) are up nearly 13% year-to-date. That makes it the third best performer in the Dow, trailing only Goldman Sachs (GS) and IBM (IBM).

But will Boeing still be doing well after it reports fourth quarter results Wednesday morning? Many on Wall Street are optimistic, despite China concerns.

Analysts are forecasting a nearly 50% jump in earnings for the quarter from a year ago. And there’s a chance that Boeing’s annual revenue could crack the $100 billion level for the first time ever. Wall Street’s consensus forecast is for sales of $99.7 billion.

Boeing, which said in November that it had delivered its two-thousandth airplane to a Chinese carrier, clearly has something to lose if China’s economy slows further, or if trade tensions with United States intensify.

But CEO Dennis Muilenburg was optimistic that Boeing will still be able to benefit from healthy demand from Chinese airlines for the foreseeable future.

“Over the next 20 years, we see a world that needs 43,000 new airplanes, about 7,700 of those are in China,” Muilenburg said during the company’s last earnings call in October. “Traffic growth patterns are very strong in China and the rising middle-class population is a tremendous driver there.”

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