On Tuesday, December 29, the Boeing 737 MAX delivered American Airlines (AAL) passengers from New York to Miami on the first commercial flight since the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed in March 2019 to briefly ban liner flights.
A demonstration flight with journalists on board took place on December 3, and on December 9, Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (GOL) became the first airline to restart commercial Boeing 737 Max flights after the FAA approved flights on November 17.
Since then, Boeing also modified the program for flight control, revamped guidance for crew operation, and adjusted the internal wiring route in the aircraft.
Boeing shares, along with the industry, were neutral on the first day of trade following the flight. In six months, the stock’s growth was around 7.8 percent. The latest stock rating of Boeing, however, is still more than 50 percent below the March 2019 level, when the Ethiopian Airlines crash occurred, killing 157 passengers and crew.
A significant step in Boeing’s market turnaround is the return of the 737 MAX to operations, but we expect it may take at least three years for the aerospace industry to return to pre-tandem sales levels. A significant sign of the potential state of the industry is that, in the middle of a dramatic decline in global passenger traffic, airlines are reluctant to buy new aircrafts.
Boeing stock also saw a drop on Monday after Bernstein downgraded the giant jet producer to “Underperform” from previous of “Market Perform”, reducing its share price target from $221 to $199.
If the restrictions on international air travel are phased out, the stock will show double growth over the next 1-3 years. Boeing has recently closed at $202.72, down -5.34%. A shorter-term target for the shares would be to hit the significant $300 per share mark, implying a growth margin of 48%.