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NEW YORK (
RealMoney) -- How much skepticism was there that the Dreamliner would ever launch? How much disbelief was there that
Boeing(BA - Get Report) would ever get it right?
Obviously a ton, if you look at the stocks that are really rocking today. First, there's
Allegheny Technologies(ATI - Get Report), which is one of the best horses to play in the Boeing race. Allegheny Tech makes the finest titanium, which is used principally for aircraft. The stock has been kept down forever, but I simply need to remind you that when the last aerospace cycle took off in 2005-6, you had a remarkable run in this stock. In fact it was, at one point, the best-performing stock in the S&P 500. It has a very, very far distance to go to get to where it used to be.
The Boeing Dreamliner finally comes out of the hangar
Precision Castparts(PCP). Here's the best-run aerospace play, having made a ton of money even when the Dreamliner was looking just like a dream. It is a name best played with deep-in-the-money calls, as it has virtually no dividend. The caveat is that the stock is expensive, selling at almost twice its growth rate, but I believe the numbers are way too low in the out-years, now that Boeing is shipping.
Here's an oddity: UBS downgraded
Hexcel(HXL - Get Report) to sell last week, on the basis of worries about production cuts for both Boeing and Airbus. I don't buy it. I think the cycle is intact. Hexcel is a very important composites play for the Dreamliner, which, of course, is built with composites, which happened to be the big hold-up to the construction. That could be right, given the pressure on the downside that the sell call generated.
BE Aerospace(BEAV) as a play on the seating of all new aircraft, and by the way, this is the stock that got upgraded when UBS downgraded Hexcel. I think both are buys.
Normally I would be suggesting
United Technologies(UTX - Get Report) obviously was thinking ahead with what looks to be a way too generous bid. That said, if the Dreamliner takes off, a dilutive acquisition for 2012 might turn out to be a terrific acquisition in 2013.