Boeing Extends Gains as TSA Screening Data Supports Air Travel Rebound

Boeing looks set to test the $300 level as it consolidates recent gains following the return to service of the 737 MAX and a slew of new jet orders.

Boeing (BA) - Get Report shares extended gains Monday, testing the highest levels in more than a year, as the planemaker continues to benefit from improved travel sentiment and the return to service of its 737 MAX workhorse. 

The Transportation Security Administration said over the weekend that it screen 1.357 million airport passengers on Friday, the highest since March 15 of last year, as travelers continued their steady return to the skies amid easing pandemic restrictions and business re-openings heading into the spring holiday period. 

That's providing yet another boost for Boeing, which has inked recent deals with Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Report and 777 Partners for narrow body jets, and the broader airline sector. 

Boeing said last week that its net order book turned positive for the first time in more than a year last month, with 86 gross orders paced by 39 new requests for the 737 MAX that put Boeing's total backlog at 4,041 aircraft as of the end of February.

It's also reached a deal that will see Ireland's AerCap buy all of its GE Capital Aviation Services, the largest portion of its GE Capital division and also known as GECAS, for $24 billion in cash, 111.5 million in AerCap shares and a further $1 billion that could be paid in either cash or notes.

Boeing shares were marked 2.6% higher in early trading Monday to change hands at $276.40 each, the highest in more than a year. Boeing shares were the top industrial sector gainer last week, in fact, rising 20.6% in a move that extends the stock's 52-week gain to around 110%.

Boeing's February order tally was well ahead of the 11 new order total reported by its European rival, Airbus  (EADSY) - Get Report, which was lead by a booking of 10 new A320 airplanes from an unidentified customer. It also suggests to the Street's founder, Jim Cramer, that the run in Boeing shares "has begun" even if "analysts have yet to recognize it."

"Boeing outselling Airbus is the beginning of the long-awaited comeback. I think that AerCap, a savvy operator, wants to be bigger because it senses the roaring boom coming in travel," Cramer said.

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