Boeing Co. (BA) , enjoying a year when everything has seemed to work out, caught another break last week: It sold two unclaimed aircraft to the Air Force.
The two 747-8s are sitting in the Mojave Desert in Victorville, Calif., at a facility that stores retired or otherwise unused aircraft. Boeing originally sold them to Transaero. But the Russian airline never claimed them. It stopped flying in 2015.
Boeing has searched for a buyer, while President Trump has sought an inexpensive way to replace the existing Air Force One presidential aircraft. These interests came together Friday, when the Air Force said it had reached agreement to buy the two planes from Boeing.
Some of the press coverage focused on an ironic coincidence: Trump's advocacy led to a deal involving Russia. But in fact, Russia has nothing to do with it. The airplanes were never delivered and never left the United States.
As for Boeing, this is a minor but still propitious event in 2017, a year that may one day be viewed as the company's best.
In 2013, Boeing shares hit $100 for the first time. In 2016, Boeing celebrated its 100th birthday. In June, shares hit $200 for the first time.
Boeing shares traded up 1.06% to $240.23 Monday and have risen 54% year to date. The next-best stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Apple Inc. (AAPL) , is up 36% and the Dow itself is up 12%.
It is worth noting that Boeing is the biggest U.S. exporter, accounting for 4% of all exported manufacturing goods.
Moreover, Boeing diplomacy seems to have turned the president into an ally.
In February 2016, Trump blasted Boeing for its plans to build a manufacturing plant in China, saying the company intended "to make all their planes in China." In December, Trump tweeted that costs for Boeing's planned Air Force One replacement were "out of control." He said the program should be cancelled.
By February, after two meetings with CEO Dennis Muilenberg, Trump was visiting Boeing's plant in North Charleston, S.C., for the rollout of Boeing's newest aircraft, the 787-10.
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