NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- According to Boeing ( BA), airlines throughout Asia will be the buyers of about 36% of all commercial aircraft, or 12,820 airplanes, during the next 20 years. That represents $1.9 trillion in potential sales.
If that isn't an incentive to buy shares of Boeing, I don't know what is.
Boeing forecasts that for longer-distance routes, its twin-aisle airplanes such as the 747-8 Intercontinental, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner will account for 28% of new airplane deliveries. Boeing's recently launched 787-10 and 777X also will support the demand for fuel-efficient twin-aisle airplanes in this fast-growing area of the world.
No wonder the analysts who follow Boeing, on average, estimate revenue to grow by nearly 12% in the first quarter of 2014. Although they predict earnings per share will be down about 8.7% in the first quarter of the year, EPS will rebound in the second quarter and grow by more than 10%.
Next year the company's EPS is forecast to improve by nearly 12% as the benefits of orders in the Asian region kick in. Its long-term market outlook supports Boeing's optimism. This was underscored by the fact that Singapore Airlines already ordered 30 of the 787-10s at the 2013 Paris Air Show and Cathay Pacific recently ordered 21 of the 777-9X airplanes.
Between 2010 and the beginning of 2013 the share price of Boeing remained stuck in a narrow price range. Then, as the trailing 12-month (TTM) Ebitda earnings skyrocketed and stayed airborne, the stock price moved from below $80 to as high as $144.57.
Since the beginning of 2014 Boeing's share price shifted to a lower "altitude," with the stock down over 5% for the year to date through Thursday's close of $129.58.
At that price the $2.92 annual dividend provides a yield of 2.25%. The one-year estimated price target for Boeing shares (according to Yahoo! Finance) is a updraft to $153 a share, representing a potential gain from Thursday's level of nearly 19%. Add on the dividend and your total return may be north of 21%.
That kind of soaring total return potential isn't easy to find in today's stock market.
When you take into account this best-in-breed company's track record, financial strength and backlog of orders, it looks like one of the safe bets for investors who see the big picture.
At the time of publication the author had no positions in the companies mentioned in this article.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.