Cars and Planes: Boeing Reports Before Tomorrow’s Open, Ford After the Close

Aerospace and defense giant Boeing and automaker Ford report earnings on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Here’s a look at what might be expected from their quarterly reports.

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Two upcoming earnings reports this week include Boeing (BA) and Ford (F). BA reports before market open on Wednesday, Oct. 24, and F reports after the close the same day. 

Both stocks are down in pre-market trading after Caterpillar (CAT) results added pressure to markets and caused some concerns among analysts due to higher material costs related to tariffs. 

Naturally, tariffs and trade are going to be topics of conversation around the reports as both companies have been impacted by steel and aluminum tariffs. Now that it’s been some time since the tariffs were implemented, investors might be able to get a better sense of the actual impact on companies’ bottom lines. 

Another common thread is that CEOs at both companies have had meetings, separately, with President Trump this year to discuss jobs, sourcing more goods from America and other topics. Last week, BA’s CEO joined executives from Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and General Dynamics (GD) to meet with President Trump, who reportedly wants to ensure more of their supply chain is sourced domestically. 

Whether it’s tariffs or other changes in government, these situations are cloudier than the companies’ actual results and, over the longer run, they can often play out in very different ways. 

Boeing Earnings and Options Trading Activity

When BA releases results, it is expected to report adjusted EPS of $3.47, up from $2.72 in the prior-year quarter, on revenue of $23.94 billion, according to third-party consensus analyst estimates. Revenue is projected to decline slightly, coming in 1.3% lower than last year. 

Per usual, BA has already announced its Q3 delivery and order figures. The company said it delivered a total of 190 planes, largely comprised of the 737 model  and the 787, the two planes that have been BA’s main products since their launch.  

Turning to orders, BA received 189 of them during Q3. The 737 and the 787 made up a bulk of the new demand, with customers placing orders for 137 of the former and 28 of the latter. The 767 model, commonly used for freight and transporting cargo, also received 18 orders as part of the U.S. Air Force Tanker Program. 

Overall, the company’s backlog stood at 5,849 units by the end of Q3. The 737 and 787 models account for a significant portion of that, with 4,654 and 638 orders, respectively. 

While the delivery figures might give investors some insight into the business, price realization can vary widely from one plane to the next, so it’s hard to gauge how much the company made from just this information.  In Q2 2018, BA reported that the commercial airplane division generated $14.48 billion in revenue from 194 deliveries.

Outside of the commercial airplane business, the two other segments investors are likely to be watching are defense, space and security, and global services. Both of these divisions have been growing at a double-digit pace in recent quarters. In Q2 2018, defense, space and security revenue increased 9% year over year to $5.59 billion. And global services revenue increased 15% to $4.09 billion.

Off the All-Time High. BA hit a new all-time high of $394.28 at the beginning of October, but shares have dropped almost $40 since then. All in all, BA is still up almost 20% year to date and has been beating the S&P 500 (SPX) by a wide margin in 2018. Chart source: thinkorswim® by TD Ameritrade. Not a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Options traders have priced in a 4.2% ($14.92) stock move in either direction around the upcoming earnings release, according to the Market Maker Move indicator on the thinkorswim® platform. Implied volatility was at the 63rd percentile as of this morning. 

Looking at the Oct. 26 weekly expiration, there hasn’t been any strike prices on the call side where activity stands out. Mostly, it’s been a smattering at strikes around the money. On the put side, the 337.5, 345 and 347.5 have all seen a pickup in volume in recent trading. 

Further out at the Nov. 16 monthly expiration, most of the activity has been right around the money. The 355 and 360 strikes on the call side have been more active, while the 350-strike put has been seen heavier trading the past few sessions. 

Note: Call options represent the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time. Put options represent the right, but not the obligation to sell the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time.

Ford Earnings and Options Trading Activity

For Q3, F is expected to report adjusted EPS of $0.28, down from $0.43 in the prior-year quarter, on revenue of $33.3 billion, according to third-party consensus analyst estimates. Revenue is projected to decline 1% year over year. 

The company has been in the midst of a turnaround strategy for some time, which has included eliminating pretty much its entire lineup of sedans to focus on pickups, SUVs and crossover-style vehicles. Not only are those styles more profitable for the automaker, but consumer tastes have increasingly shifted towards them. 

In July, CEO Jim Hackett announced that the company would embark on an $11 billion restructuring, but so far some analysts have expressed frustration that there hasn’t been much detail beyond high-level information. After F canceled an investor meeting that was originally planned for September, that pretty much leaves tomorrow’s earnings as the only opportunity for analysts to dig into the company’s operations.

Along with the rest of the auto industry, F has dropped sharply since the start of the year. Some of the challenges analysts have cited that are facing F include a competitive pickup market in the U.S. and mixed performances in the EU, China and South America.

A Tough Year. F has been in a downtrend for more than 5 years and the stock has continued to drop in 2018, shedding 33.57% of its value year to date. The last time it was trading this low was towards the end of 2009. Chart source: thinkorswim® by TD AmeritradeNot a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Around the upcoming earnings report, options traders have priced in a 4% ($0.34) stock move in either direction, according to the Market Maker Move indicator. Implied volatility was at the 68th percentile as of this morning. 

In short-term options trading at the Oct. 26 weekly expiration, calls have been active at the 8.5 and 9 strike prices, while activity on the put side has been concentrated at the 8 strike. And not much is different at the Nov. 16 monthly expiration. On the call side, most of the recent trading has been at the 9 strike, while most of the activity has been at the 8 strike on the put side.

Good Trading,

JJ

@TDAJJKinahan

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