Boeing Lifted by Saudi Share Purchase and Rise in Airline Optimism

A Saudi fund in Q1 bought more than $700 million of Boeing shares. Boeing also received multibillion-dollar contracts for missile systems.
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Boeing  (BA) - Get Report shares jumped after Saudi Arabia took a stake in the aerospace giant and the company received multibillion-dollar contracts for missile systems. 

Also lifting the Chicago company was optimism about airline shares. A drugmaker's progress with a vaccine candidate targeting covid-19 lifted investor spirits about resurgent air travel after the coronavirus wrecked flight plans for consumers and businesses.  

Late Friday, Saudi Arabia's sovereign-wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, disclosed in a quarterly filing that it bought 4.8 million shares for $714 million, or an average $149 each.

Boeing shares at last check were trading up 12% to $134.88.

Boeing was the Saudi fund's third largest purchase in the first quarter by dollar value, behind Uber UBER ($2.03 billion) and BP (BP) - Get Report ($827.8 million). 

Over the weekend, Boeing also said it received contracts from the U.S. government to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force and other countries with missile systems 

The Naval Air Systems Command is the contractor for the orders through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. 

“We are pleased to continue our long legacy of partnering with the Navy to build weapons that defend America and its international partners,” said Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president for Boeing Weapons. 

The order extends the production of one of the missile programs through 2026 and the other through 2028. 

And the Chicago-based aircraft maker is rising in tandem with airline stocks and most of the rest of the market.  

Drug maker Moderna MRNA said that test results from the first human trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine were positive

The U.S. Global Jets ETF  (JETS) - Get Report at last check was 11% higher at $13.35. The S&P 500 Index was up more than 3.3%.