This article originally appeared on RealMoney.com onSept. 2, 2014 at11:00 a.m. To read more content like this AND see inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE... Click Here NOW.
Identifying good companies is often easier than finding those same names at reasonable prices. Aerospace manufacturer Boeing(BA) - Get Report has been posting record breaking results in 2013 and 2014 while significantly boosting its dividend, shrinking its float and maintaining a solid balance sheet.
The firm, which makes $90 billion in annual sales, certainly qualifies as a high-quality, industry-leading name you can own with the assurance it will be around for the long term. The question becomes: "Is today's quote a good entry point for new buyers?"
Boeing's average multiple over the previous seven years was 17.3x. Its dividend provided a 2.41% average yield. Last Friday, BA weighed in at a slightly lower P/E than normal but also with a slightly sub-par current yield compared to the 2007-2013 period.
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There were two instances since 2007 when BA was priced way too expensively. Buyers at 2007's peak paid about 20.5x earnings while accepting only a 1.34% dividend. That overpricing preceded five and a half years when the shares failed to progress.
Early this year, Boeing got even pricier. The stock ticked up to almost $145, 24.2x trailing EPS. As of last Friday morning, traders who bought at that January peak were sitting on paper losses greater than $18 per share.
Company perfomance and expectationsare are once again running hot but the shares, taking the recent pullback to the $126 range into account, are firmly mired in middle ground on a valuation basis.
A fine company at a fair price makes for a perfect set-up for writing (selling) long-term put options. You will either buy Boeing even cheaper or get paid without ever needing to own BA shares.
Sell some Boeing Jan. 2016, $120 strike price puts for $10.60, leave the position alone until expiration and only two possibiilities could play out.
If Boeing closes at $120 or higher and the puts will expire worthless, put writers will keep $1,060 per contract and no obligation will remain. If BA closes below $120 the put will be exercised and option sellers will be forced to purchase 100 shares per contract at a net cost of $109.40 ($120 strike less the $10.60 put premium).
Either alternative looks attractive. Owning Boeing at the "if put" price would represent a bargain P/E of just 13.3x this year's estimate. Today's quarterly distribution, likely to be higher by early 2016, would provide a generous 2.67% yield at $109.40.
Boeing shares have not been available below $110 since the middle of September 2013.
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At the time of publication, Paul Price was short BA Jan. 2016, $120 puts.