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Boeing Stock Takes Off On New Defense Contracts

Antonio Alfonso, Kapitall: Boeing stock is up two days in a row thanks to new contracts. What's next for the aerospace giant? 

Boeing (BA), has been making some major moves and winning some solid contracts, which may help the company and investors alike. The company’s stock rose as Boeing’s latest jet, the 787-9 Dreamliner, takes its first test flight today.

[Read more from Kapitall: 5 Undervalued Stocks Intruiging Institutional Investors]

The 787-9 Dreamliner, larger and able to fly farther than the current model, has been ordered by airlines eagerly awaiting a plane that should help them increase revenues. If all goes well, Boeing could begin reaping profits from the 853 orders it’s received, totaling over $146 billion. Monday brought the news that a Boeing subsidiary which makes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), had also won a major defense contract.

Worth  $300 million, the indefinite quantity contract runs through 2016 and tasks Boeing with providing hardware and service in support of US Special Operations Command’s UAVs. This contract is the biggest of multiple wins for Boeing, which includes two additional contracts totaling an extra $30 million. Perhaps even more exciting is the recent news that  Boeing has emerged as the sole eligible bidder to help replace South Korea's aging aerospace fleet. 

Though Boeing’s more inexpensive bid helped it get this far, some analysts have mentioned that South Korea (paywall) should instead be looking at stealth technology, especially consiering the threat that North Korea still poses. But South Korea’s defense minister has stated other military capabilities are important too, and the bid’s low price tag has won some major support. Keeping true to its most recent motto, Boeing is pursuing new frontiers by working closely with NASA on its Commercial Crew Program, which aims to develop a system transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.

Boeing recently tested an interface alongside Mission Control Center (MCC) at Johnson Space Center in Houston, which will help astronauts in Boeing’s CST-100 capsule to communicate with MCC. Boeing shows good signs of progress with the Commercial Crew Program and is on track to complete all 20 milestones by summer 2014.

While many things are going well for Boeing, some challenges and threats to the company remain. A recently launched lightweight passenger jet from Bombardier (OTC:BDRPF) completed a successful test flight Monday. The Canadian manufacturer is poised to give both Boeing and Airbus (an EADS subsidiary) a run for their money, having already won a contract with a Latvian airline.

Do you think Boeing stock will continue to rise?

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